Teen Faces Life In Prison Over Hash Brownies

05/20/2014 08:32 am ET | Updated May 21, 2014

A teenager who allegedly made and sold hash brownies could serve life in prison because of the ingredients he used.

Officials in Round Rock, Texas, have charged Jacob Lavoro, 19, with a first-degree felony because he chose to use hash oil rather than marijuana.

That allows the state to use the entire weight of the brownies -- sugar, cocoa, butter and other ingredients -- to determine the weight of the drugs, KEYE-TV reports.

The brownies confiscated by Round Rock officials allegedly weighed about 1.5 pounds. The potential sentence Lavoro faces, if found guilty, ranges from five years to life in prison.

"This case highlights both the absurdity and devastation of our nation's ongoing war on marijuana," Erik Altieri, spokesperson for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws told HuffPost in an email.

"While Colorado and Washington have ushered in the age of legalization, many states still harshly criminalize marijuana and hand out egregious sentences for its possession."

The sentence hanging over Lavoro's head is especially absurd, Altieri said, because "recent polls show 58 percent of [Texas] residents support regulating marijuana like alcohol."

Lavoro's father, Joe Lavoro, says if his son is determined to have done something illegal, he should be punished, but doesn't agree with the proposed penalty.

"Five years to life? I'm sorry, I'm a law abiding citizen. I'm a conservative. I love my country. I'm a Vietnam veteran, but I'll be damned ... this is wrong, this is damn wrong!" he told KEYE-TV.

"If [Jacob] did something wrong he should be punished, but to the extent that makes sense. This is illogical. I'm really upset, and I'm frightened, I'm frightened for my son."

If Lavoro were to be sentenced to life, he wouldn't be the only prisoner spending decades behind bars for marijuana crimes.

Simon McCormack contributed reporting to this story.

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