It is a well-established fact that medical marijuana is legal in California. In many places within the state, patients are also permitted to grow plants for medicinal purposes. However, in San Joaquin, cultivating medical marijuana is a criminal offense. Charges may be brought against those growing marijuana plants indoors or outdoors.
Details on the No-Grow Law
California’s state law currently permits marijuana use for those authorized to do so for medical reasons. However, San Joaquin County is the first to limit growth. The new law went into effect earlier this year. According to a news article, the restrictions apply to the unincorporated areas of the county. However, individuals who cultivate medical marijuana in Stockton or other county cities will all be faced with the same constraints.
The push for putting a cease grow order came from local law enforcement officials. Medical marijuana users were not specifically targeted, but were included as part of the big picture. Authorities expressed their concern that lack of regulation was causing an issue with illicit drug availability.
When the ordinance was introduced by county government officials, an increase in crime was cited as a reason for restricting growth. At least one homicide was attributed to marijuana cultivation within the county. Others called marijuana plant growing a local nuisance.
Permissible Marijuana Growth
If you are a patient with a medical marijuana script, it might seem easiest to grow your own. However, San Joaquin residents can only get the product from medically licensed marijuana growers. Otherwise, they risk breaking the law. Police may not actively seek out those cultivating plants for medicinal purposes. However, those who are caught are subject to punishment.
What happens if you are caught cultivating marijuana plants in an undesignated area? Believe it or not you could be put in County Jail for up to six months. In addition, you can expect to be fined up to $500. These can represent stiff penalties to an individual who uses marijuana to relieve pain or some other medical condition. Penalties are assessed on each day the cultivation continues to exist. Therefore, punishment could be even more substantial.
A criminal charge of any type may represent undue hardship. At the Srai Law Office, we have the legal experience that can help you fight this type of case. Contact us to set up an appointment to discuss charges brought against you.