Singer Fiona Apple may face serious jail time in Texas thanks to a state law that classifies possession of any amount of hashish, no matter how small, as a third-degree felony.
In Texas, a third-degree felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, or no less than two, along with a fine of up to $10,000.
Apple was arrested Wednesday at a west Texas narcotics checkpoint near the Mexican border. Hudspeth County, where she was stopped, is notorious for busting celebrities on their way through Texas from California. Other high-profile busts in Hudspeth include rapper Snoop Dogg, country singer Willie Nelson and hacker George Hotz.
Police said a drug dog alerted them to Apple’s tour vehicle. Inside, they discovered a backpack that contained about four grams of marijuana and four grams of hashish. Hashish is also marijuana, but Texas differentiates between the two because hashish is more expensive and has a higher concentration of the plant’s psychoactive compounds.
The state is one of a handful that’s implemented more severe penalties for people caught with what the law calls “resinous extractives of Cannabis,” which it categorizes similarly to synthetic substances that mimic the effects of marijuana, like “Spice” and “K2.” Most states treat hashish similarly to marijuana and impose identical penalties for minor possession.
Texas, however, counts up to four grams of hashish as a third-degree felony. Go even a hair over four grams and the state jumps the offense class up to a second-degree felony, carrying a potential jail term of up to 20 years. Suspects caught with more than 400 grams fall under the law’s first-degree felony classification, which carries a potential jail term of 99 years.