Under state and federal laws, the manufacturing or cultivating of drugs is illegal. Examples of illicit drugs that are not legal to manufacture or cultivate include marijuana and methamphetamine. With that being said, some states allow the private manufacturing of marijuana. This depends on whether or not a given state has legalized marijuana for recreational or medical use.
To fully understand what drug manufacturing and cultivation means, it is important to specifically define each term separately. First, drug manufacturing refers to an individual being involved in any part of drug production. This even extends to ingredient sales. For example, if you have sold chemicals or ingredients that could create drugs or equipment that is specialized for drug production, this may mean that you could be charged with a crime. Even if you offer to help someone to produce drugs in a minor way, you can be charged with a drug manufacturing crime.
In most scenarios, the manufacturing of drugs as a charge is looked at as a felony. If you are charged with a drug manufacturing felony, you may be sentenced to time in prison, you may go on probation, or you may need to pay large fines. If someone manufacturers illegal drugs close to playgrounds or schools, it is not uncommon for prison sentences as well as steep initial fines to be doubled.
Understand drug manufacturing
In order to prove that someone has manufactured illicit drugs, it is important that prosecutors prove both intent to produce drugs and possession of drug producing chemicals or equipment. This can be difficult in some cases.
For example, some chemicals and products that are used to create illicit drugs are not illegal in and of themselves. Pseudoephedrine used to be a cold medicine that was quite legal, for example. Today, pseudoephedrine is banned because it is often used to make methamphetamine. But if the prosecution were to bring the fact that someone possessed pseudoephedrine to court in order to say that they had the intent of producing illegal drugs, this may not be enough to charge that person with a felony because pseudoephedrine has also been used as a legitimate cold medication.
With that being said, if additional products or equipment were found in the same place as pseudoephedrine, this may be able to help prosecutors establish the necessary probable cause, and in turn, this could result in an arrest of the individual. Another good example is marijuana seeds. If someone possesses marijuana seeds, this does not necessarily mean that they intend to cultivate marijuana. But if additional equipment such as growing lights for indoor use were found along with the marijuana seeds, probable cause may be established, and this may result in an arrest.
Again, there are several pieces of equipment or chemicals that may be used in the drug production process that are also used in legal practices. For this reason, it is important that individuals who own these items legally have authorizations or permits. For example, pharmacists are legally allowed to have access to a large selection of products that could otherwise be used to create illegal drugs.
Understanding drug cultivation
When we talk about drug cultivation, we are generally referring to the cultivation of marijuana. And things get dicey when discussing the cultivation of marijuana because state laws are different than federal laws in many regions. Marijuana is basically the only exception to this.
In other words, according to the federal government, the cultivation of marijuana is basically the same as the cultivation or manufacture of any other schedule 1 drugs. This refers to how the federal government would treat a case in respect to charges brought against an individual and possible sentencing.
But many states have laws that make the cultivation of marijuana legal. For example, the states of Washington and Colorado have legalized marijuana for recreational use, and several other states have legalized marijuana for medical use. But there are unique laws in all of these states as well. Patients cannot cultivate their own marijuana plants in Connecticut, for example, and patients in Hawaii can only grow as many as seven marijuana plants.
If individuals have questions about drug manufacturing or cultivation, it is important that they understand the particular laws in their respective states. Talking to a lawyer may be useful in reviewing these.
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