A NY Defense Lawyer Explains Penalties for Marijuana Cultivation
States throughout the country have been moving towards decriminalizing or even legalizing marijuana. The Rohrabacher-Farr amendment to a federal spending bill also prohibited the Drug Enforcement Agency from spending any federal funds pursuing investigations or cases related to marijuana use, possession, or cultivation in states which have legalized medicinal marijuana.
While these are positive steps, marijuana cultivation still remains a crime both in New York and under federal law. While NY does allow marijuana for medicinal use, the regulations are strict and few are permitted to cultivate. This means you could be arrested, tried, convicted, and imprisoned for marijuana cultivation simply because you happen to live in New York State instead of in one of the many states which has moved further towards legalization and which has more lax laws.
If you are charged with marijuana cultivation and are facing either a trial in state or federal court based on this alleged crime, you need to be represented by a defense attorney who knows the drug laws and who can help you to put together the strongest case possible. At Bukh Law Firm, PLLC, we care deeply about our clients and we fight hard to help ensure you can avoid incarceration or minimize potential penalties for involvement with growing marijuana. Give us a call as soon as you have been charged with a crime related to marijuana cultivation so we can begin developing a vigorous defense to charges.
New York Laws on Marijuana Cultivation
In New York, marijuana and synthetic equivalents of marijuana remain a schedule I substance under New York Pub. Health §3306. As a result, cultivation of marijuana is illegal. In fact, when a defendant is accused of cultivation, he is not only charged with cultivating marijuana but he is also considered to be in possession of the marijuana which he is accused of cultivating. This can lead to a charge of possession.
Because marijuana has been decriminalized, simple possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana usually results only in a civil citation. However, those accused of cultivation generally have more than 25 grams of marijuana.
The penalties for cultivation and possession will be more severe the more plants a defendant has. Possession offenses for cultivators with two or more ounces of marijuana could result in anywhere from a maximum three month prison sentence to a maximum 15 year prison sentence for possessing significant amounts of marijuana. New York also makes it illegal to manufacture drug paraphernalia, including items used in harvesting, growing, process, selling, storing, or using cannabis products.
New York does have a medical marijuana program, but the law allowed for only five manufacturers to be granted grow licenses within the state. Legislatures may increase the number of manufacturers permitted to grow marijuana a demand requires.
Federal Laws on Marijuana Cultivation
Cultivation is punished with serious penalties by the federal government. If the DEA chooses to conduct an investigation and you are facing federal rather than state charges, you will stand trial in federal court and could be sentenced to federal prison if convicted.
Cultivation penalties vary based on the number of marijuana plants in a defendant’s possession. Even cultivation of less than 50 plans is still considered a felony which could result in five years imprisonment. With large numbers of plants, it is possible to be sentenced to as long as life imprisonment just for growing marijuana.
How a NY Marijuana Cultivation Defense Lawyer Can Help
If you have been accused of cultivation of marijuana, it is imperative you are represented by a qualified attorney with experience in representing clients facing federal or state drug charges. Bukh Law Firm, PLLC can provide the representation you both need and deserve when facing charges that could shape your future. Give us a call to schedule a consultation and learn more.