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New study shows marijuana potency has risen, as price has fallen

As experts continue to question the effectiveness of the so-called War on Drugs in the United States, a new study has revealed that it may have had some inadvertent consequences in certain areas.

The study - published in the British Medical Journal Open - found that controlled substances have continued to be sold in large quantities, while the price of such substances has actually fallen over the past two decades.

Specifically, the study's authors point to marijuana usage in the U.S. From 1990 to 2009, the number of occasions in which marijuana was seized by law enforcement officers rose by 465 percent. During those two decades, marijuana also became 161 percent more potent and the price for the controlled substance fell by 86 percent.

During the same period, the number of Americans arrested for drug crimes - and particularly those related to marijuana - increased significantly. According to information released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, nearly 50 percent of all drug-related arrests are for crimes involving marijuana. In addition, 87 percent of all marijuana arrests in the U.S. are merely for possession of the drug, according to data from another BMJ Open study.

These statistics have caused many to question whether strict marijuana regulations are actually benefitting people in the states that continue to enforce them. Texas is one such state.

Fight charges of marijuana possession in Texas

In Texas, the penalties for marijuana possession vary depending on the amount of the substance found in the individual's possession.

For instance, if someone is found with two ounces of marijuana or less, he or she could face misdemeanor charges. A conviction may result in up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. Those found with between two to four ounces of marijuana could face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.

Those found with more than four ounces of marijuana in Texas could face felony charges. If the individual is found with between four ounces and five pounds of the substance, he or she faces a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 180 days, but could face up to two years in jail. In addition, the individual could be fined up to $10,000.

The most severe penalties are reserved for those found with over 2,000 pounds of marijuana. In such cases, a conviction results in a mandatory minimum jail sentence of five years, with the possibility of up to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

If you or a loved one is currently facing charges of marijuana possession in Texas, you should take steps to protect yourselves. In such situations, consulting with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney will ensure a strong defense is mounted on your behalf.