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drug crimes

Basic Information on Cultivation and Manufacturing Drug Crimes

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The manufacture or cultivation of drugs such as marijuana or methamphetamine is illegal under state and federal law. Manufacturing of drugs occurs when a person is involved in any part of the process; those who sell equipment, certain chemicals, or who offer their assistance can be charged. Most manufacturing-related crimes are classed as felonies, with sentences including probation, high fines and prison time.

Elements of Drug Manufacturing

For a conviction, prosecutors are required to prove possession and intent. For instance, pseudoephedrine was once a common cold medicine ingredient, but it is also used in making methamphetamine. Finding the substance in a person’s belongings isn’t enough to bring a manufacturing charge, but charges can be applied if police find lab equipment commonly used in methamphetamine manufacturing.

An authorization to possess items used to manufacture drugs can be presented as a defense to such charges. For example, pharmacists can access many substances that can be used to make drugs. Also, certain industrial and chemical supplies that are used in drug manufacturing can have legitimate uses requiring a permit. Consult an attorney for information on a jurisdiction’s laws.

State and Federal Laws on Cannabis Cultivation

While there isn’t much difference between federal and state drug manufacturing rules, there is an exception where cannabis is concerned. The government treats cannabis as a Schedule I drug as far as sentencing is concerned. According to federal law, cultivation of fewer than 50 plants can bring a prison sentence of five years, and the cultivation of 1000 plants can bring a life sentence. Certain states have allowed the use of medicinal cannabis, but people in these states are not protected from enforcement of federal laws.

Washington and Colorado have legalized recreational cannabis use, but only the state of Colorado allows all users to cultivate plants. Jurisdictions allowing medicinal cannabis use differ on cultivation by patients, and a lawyer can provide information specific to one’s location. Drug cultivation and manufacturing are illegal under state and federal laws, with limited exceptions. Those with additional questions and those who are facing charges for drug crimes should consult our law office at Vinas & Graham today.

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