Manufacturing Of Drugs
Aside the illegality in possessing and transfer of illegal drugs under federal and state law; it is also prohibited to cultivate and manufacture illegal drugs. The scope of the law is expansive in this case, in that it is applied to an individual who is involved in any step of the cultivation or production process. Accordingly, an individual who sells specialized equipment used for either processes, sells certain precursor chemicals, or so much as offer to help in either cultivation or production may be charged with the crime.
Prosecution and Defense
The typical charge for manufacturing illegal drugs is a Felony. Penalties include probation, steep fines, and prison time. If an individual is convicted of manufacturing within the vicinity of a school or playground or both, he or she may be liable to receive double the prison sentence and fines.
For an individual to be wholly convicted on grounds of manufacturing illicit drugs, the prosecution must typically provide proof of both and not only one of the following:
- That the defendant was in possession of elements used for production
- That the defendant had intent to manufacture illicit drugs
To make this clear, let us consider this scenario. Pseudoephedrine was commonly used as a medication for cold. Although, it has since being withdrawn for use and banned; it may be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Now, if the Police found pseudoephedrine in substantial quantities in the possession of an individual, the finding alone does not provide sufficient grounds to prosecute the individual for manufacturing illegal drugs. However, the prosecution will be able to sufficiently go ahead if the same individual was also in possession of laboratory equipment commonly used to produce meth. In this case, finding the lab equipment can be used to establish probable cause or intent.
In like vein, possession of marijuana seeds by itself does not necessarily denote an indication of an intent to cultivate, unless the same individual was found to be in possession of indoor grow lamps and hydroponic equipment.
Statutory defense against the cultivation or manufacture of illicit drugs may be held up at trial if the defendant can attest that he or she has authorization or a permit to possess certain items otherwise used to make illicit drugs. This is because certain industrial supplies and chemical originally meant for legitimate uses may be used in the manufacture of illegal drugs. Possession of these chemicals and supplies require a permit.
Federal Law vs. State Law
Currently, a few state laws clash with federal law on marijuana cultivation. On the cultivation and production of other illicit drugs, federal and state laws differ less. In some cases, the federal government will go ahead and charge the defendant with a federal drug crime.
Current sentencing guidelines for marijuana cultivation under federal law are:
|Size of cultivation||Sentencing|
|Less than 50 marijuana plants||Maximum prison sentence of 5 years|
|At or more than 1000 marijuana plants||Maximum prison sentence of life in prison|
Currently, federal law does not provide exemption from federal law enforcement for individuals in states with legislation that permit the medical use of or have legalized marijuana. However, it is not clear at this time how federal enforcement in these states will be carried out.
The table below provides current information on state laws on the use and cultivation of marijuana in the US.
|Permissible Under State Law||State(s)|
|Recreational Use of Marijuana||Colorado, California, and Washington|
|Cultivation of Marijuana by Medical Patients (Maximum of 7)||Hawaii|
|Cultivation of Marijuana by Non-Medical Users (Maximum of 6)||Colorado|
Broward Criminal Lawyer
Exceptions may exist for illegal drug cultivation and manufacturing under federal and state law. For questions and more clarification, consider the services of a criminal defense attorney. Kenneth Padowitz provides a strategic criminal defense to those accused of drug crimes. If you’ve been charged with a crime, or believe you will be charged in the future, contact Broward County’s leading drug crime lawyer to discuss this important matter.