A 70-year-old man in San Bernardino county may be facing charges after police found more than 1,700 cannabis plants and 20 pounds of processed marijuana at two outdoor grow locations. The man, Craig Schaffnit of Big River, was apparently growing the marijuana on two plots of unincorporated land in San Bernardino county, without a proper license, and without the property owners' knowledge. KTLA News reported that Police obtained warrants to search the two locations, and seized the plants and processed drugs during the execution of the search.
San Bernardino County outlaws any growing of commercial cannabis in unincorporated areas and police allege the grows were not in compliance with California's Medical and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act either.
Although Prop 64 legalized the recreational use of marijuana in California, there are still many restrictions surrounding growing, selling, and transporting of marijuana, unless you have a license. For example, growing marijuana for personal use is permissible, but it is limited to six plants. Growing more than six plants is a violation of California Health and Safety Code 11358 HS, which is a misdemeanor for most defendants, but can be a felony if you have certain prior convictions on your record (like violent felonies or prior cultivation charges).
Facing charges for the Illegal growing of marijuana can still be tricky and messy, even with Prop 64 protections. A violation of California Health and Safety Code 11358 is punishable by up to six months in county jail, and/or a fine of up to five hundred dollars for a misdemeanor, and felony charge could be as serious as sixteen months, two years or three years in county jail, and/or a fine of up to ten thousand dollars. However, the law also permits drug diversion under certain circumstances, so it is important to speak to an experienced marijuana criminal defense attorney about your options.
If you are facing criminal charges for growing marijuana, you should contact an attorney right away. Our attorneys here at the Kann California Defense Group can look at the facts of your case and help to identify possible defenses to your charge including, showing that the excess marijuana did not belong to you, or that you did not know it was there or that it was marijuana. As a medical marijuana user, another possible defense includes showing that your medical needs require you to cultivate more than the limit of six plants. For a free consultation about your case and your best defense, contact us today!