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illegal marijuana growing in california

Illegal marijuana growing in california

Illegal grows have at times exploited laborers, Bonta said, forcing them to work in unsafe conditions. They also have wreaked havoc on legal grow operations, which struggle to compete with black market operators unencumbered by the taxes, permits and fees required under California’s marijuana laws.

Karen Mouritsen, director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in California, said agents this year also seized and destroyed 169,000 illegal marijuana plants raised at 80 sites on federal land in the state.

The attorney general also said that insecticides banned in the state were found at grow sites, some of them so toxic that they kill wildlife and poison groundwater and public waterways.

California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta said Monday that agents assigned to the state’s Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, or CAMP, program destroyed about 1.2 million plants discovered at unlicensed grow sites and seized 180,000 pounds of processed marijuana. The crackdown took place over an unspecified 13-week period in 26 counties.

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The sentencing range for marijuana cultivation is up to three years in state prison, up to a $10,000 fine, and probation. If given probation, it is formal probation where the person must report to a probation officer as required. Formal probation is given in cases where the charges and conviction are more serious in nature.

Although the medical marijuana prescription allows the man to grow marijuana for his own personal use, that growth is limited to six mature plants and twelve immature plants. Any number of plants beyond that amount will raise suspicion and possibly liability under the law. In the above example, the man is growing 50 plants, which can easily be argued are for sale and not for personal use. Since he owns the house, and lives there alone, an argument cannot be made that the plants are not his. Although there is a large amount of marijuana being grown, the man may not face a penalty on the high end of the spectrum because it is his first criminal offense.

Potential Consequences of a Marijuana Cultivation Conviction

If you or someone you know has been charged with marijuana cultivation, the skilled criminal defense attorneys at Hoffman & Associates can help. There are several defenses available for a person charged with marijuana cultivation, including:

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