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Marijuana cultivation offenses at the federal level

There are many different drug offenses that have federal charges associated with them. One is drug cultivation.

Perhaps the most well-known of the drug cultivation crimes that federal authorities sometimes accuse individuals of is marijuana cultivation. While such cultivation is generally a crime at both the state and the federal level, federal charges related to marijuana cultivation can be particularly severe given marijuana's current position in federal drug law.

Despite the fact that many states have been loosening their marijuana laws in recent years, in federal drug law, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, the most serious drug classification. Thus, federal marijuana crimes can carry pretty hefty potential punishments with them. The potential punishments a person can be given if convicted of federal marijuana cultivation charges are what one might expect for a drug with a Schedule I classification.

If a person is convicted at the federal level of being involved in a very large marijuana cultivation operation, they may face permanent loss of their freedom. Life prison sentences can be given for marijuana cultivation involving at least 1,000 plants.

Those accused of only being involved in smaller grow operations can also face severe consequences at the federal level. A conviction of marijuana cultivation related to fewer than 50 plants carries a maximum prison sentence of five years.

As this shows, facing federal charges in relation to a marijuana grow operation of any size has the potential to vastly change a person's life. Among the things experienced criminal defense attorneys can do for individuals who are in federal criminal proceedings regarding marijuana cultivation are analyze the strength of the federal government's case, lay out what defense options are available and give advice as to what the best route to take during the proceedings may be.

Sources: FindLaw, "Drug Manufacturing and Cultivation," Accessed Aug. 6, 2014

FindLaw, "Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970," Accessed Aug. 6, 2014

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Darryl A. Goldberg
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