Texas Man Faces Possible Life in Prison For Pot Brownies

Why brownie recipe caused prosecutors to pursue felony charge.

May 21, 2014— -- A 19-year-old Texas man could be facing the possibility of life in prison for allegedly baking and selling pot brownies.

According to police in Round Rock, a city north of Austin, officers found 1.5 pounds of brownies, along with a pound of marijuana, digital scales, $1,675 in cash and several bags of marijuana at Jacob Lavoro's apartment last month.

Now, Lavoro faces a first-degree felony and if convicted, the former high school football player with a clean record faces a possible punishment ranging from five years to life behind bars.

His father Joe Lavoro called the potential punishment “outrageous.”

“Five years to life? I’m sorry, I’m a law-abiding citizen, I’m a conservative, but I’ll be damned,” Joe Lavoro said. “This is wrong. This is damn wrong.”

Prosecutors say the charge is so severe because of Lavoro’s brownie recipe. Authorities say he mixed in hash oil, which features a far higher concentration of THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. Under Texas law, the hash oil can be treated similarly to far more serious narcotics such as ecstasy.

Because the drops of oil were cooked into the brownies, police weighed the entire brownie batch – sugar, flour and butter – and charged him with possessing 1.5 pounds of drugs.

Jack Holmes, Lavoro’s defense attorney, believes the charge should be downgraded.

“They’ve weighed baked goods in this case,” Holmes said. “It ought to be a misdemeanor.”

Lavoro has pleaded not guilty. His father remains upset that prosecutors aren’t backing down.

“If he did something wrong, he should be punished, but to the extent that makes sense,” he said. “This is illogical.”

Lavoro is due back in court next month.