by Mark Reagan
Jacob Lavoro speaks to reporters outside of the Williamson County Courthouse earlier this week. He faces life in prison after police found pot brownies and an alleged 145 grams of hash oil in his apartment. Photo courtesy of the "Justice for Jacob Lavoro" Facebook page.
A 19-year-old man facing life in prison on a possession of brownies (pot laced) charge may be indicted in two weeks, according to a Facebook page set up to publicize his case.
Round Rock Police responding to a marijuana complaint last April arrested Jacob Lavoro after finding 145 grams of hash oil and brownies laced with hash oil inside his apartment, the Associated Press reported. And so, Lavoro was booked on a felony drug charge and faces five years to life in prison.
“Justice for Jacob Lavoro,” the Facebook page promoting his case, which includes a www.gofundme.com campaign, claims a lab report the prosecutor shared with Lavoro’s lawyer, Jack F. Holmes, revealed that there was just 2.5 grams of THC in the tested evidence.
“We had another status hearing today and it went very well. I was advised that the dps [sic] lab report finally came in to the prosecutor. He told me that there was only 2.5 grams of THC in the items submitted to test. Then he told a reporter that they discovered 148 grams. So as of right now, I don’t know which number is right. I believe it is the 2.5 Also, the prosecutor refused to shake my hand prior to the hearing with a full courtroom to see,” Holmes wrote on his Facebook page, ‘The Law Office of Jack F. Holmes.’
Because the THC (the psychoactive compound in pot) was in an oil form, Lavoro faces charges associated with hard drugs.
Williamson County prosecutor Travis McDonald told the Associated Press on Tuesday that hash oil is grouped in a penalty group with amphetamines and ecstasy, and so Lavoro is charged with manufacturing and distributing 1.5 pounds of a controlled substance.
“If you dissolve cocaine into a coke, technically you could charge him with the weight of the coke,” McDonald told the AP, adding that he probably wouldn’t make that call.
Holmes went on to say that Lavoro will be indicted in a couple weeks and hopes to have a hearing on a motion to suppress evidence. According to Holmes’ comments, if the motion is denied, Lavoro will go to trial in November or December.
A host of online blogs, including Gawker, have used Lavoro’s case to criticize Texas’ tough-on-drugs mentality and point out that in Colorado and Washington, those alleged 145 or 148 grams of hash oil (and the laced brownies) would be product that is taxed and regulated. In Colorado's case, the tax revenue goes to keeping kids off drugs.
For more on marijuana policy in Texas, and its future in the Lone Star State, pick up the next issue of the San Antonio Current.