Drug Violations Law

What Is Drug Manufacturing and Cultivation?

When there is evidence of a drug lab, drug-making materials, or growing marijuana, the suspect can be charged with serious felony charges for drug manufacturing and cultivation. The penalties for drug manufacturing can include prison time, fines, and confiscation of your property. Law enforcement takes drug manufacturing very seriously.

Each state’s drug manufacturing and cultivation laws differ, and some states take drug manufacturing much more seriously. Talk to a criminal defense lawyer in your area for legal advice about drug manufacturing charges in your state.

Federal Drug Manufacturing Laws

Under federal law, it is a crime to manufacture a controlled substance. Drug charges can be a federal crime if they involve crossing state lines or coming through international border crossings. Individuals involved in a large-scale drug manufacturing schemes may also be charged with a federal offense.

Drugs are categorized by schedule. The federal government has five schedules for controlled substances, from Schedule I for the most dangerous to Schedule V for the least harmful. Schedule I drugs are considered to have no medical value and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD, peyote, MDMA, and marijuana.

What Is the Difference Between Manufacturing and Cultivation?

Manufacturing generally refers to chemically creating controlled substances, and cultivation generally refers to growing. Drug cultivation most often refers to growing illegal plants that are classified as controlled substances.

According to federal law, “manufacture” means the production, preparation, propagation, compounding, or processing of a drug or other substance. This includes the chemical synthesis of natural and synthetic chemicals and packaging.

Manufacturing Drugs

Most drug manufacturing arrests in the United States involve making illegal narcotics like methamphetamine or crack cocaine. Methamphetamines can be made with a combination of various drugs, some of which used to be easier to obtain with over-the-counter medications. Crack is generally made by combining cocaine with a mixture of other components and broken up into chunks.

Drug manufacturing charges can also involve adulterating controlled substances to resell. This may include cutting cocaine, fentanyl, methamphetamine, or other drugs with other substances to alter the effects of the drugs or increase the supply.

Other illegal drug manufacturing is done in other countries and trafficked into the U.S. This includes heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and ecstasy.

Marijuana Cultivation

Marijuana cultivation involves growing marijuana plants, processing, and drying the material to be sold or consumed. Marijuana cultivation can involve a few plants in someone’s house or large-scale growing operations outdoors or in commercial buildings.

Marijuana cultivation can depend on the state where the marijuana was grown. In many states, cultivating small amounts of marijuana is legal for medical or recreational use. For example, in California, you can grow up to 6 cannabis plants at home if you are at least 21 years of age. In Michigan, eligible individuals who age 21 years or older can grow up to 12 marijuana plants at their home. However, in some other states and under federal law, marijuana cultivation is illegal.

Federal Penalties for Drug Manufacturing and Cultivation

The sentencing for drug manufacturing and drug cultivation can depend on the amount of drugs involved and where the drugs were manufactured. Under federal law, cultivating less than 50 marijuana plants is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. However, cultivation of 1,000 plants or more carries a possible prison time of 10 years to life imprisonment.

Federal prison time for manufacturing 28 grams of crack is a mandatory minimum of 5 years. Manufacturing 280 grams or more of crack has a 10-year mandatory minimum and maximum life imprisonment.

Some states may also have enhanced penalties for drug manufacturing within a certain distance from a school or drug-free zone.

Defenses to Drug Manufacturing Charges

If you are charged with a drug crime, the prosecutor has to prove every element of the crime. If you can show doubt about any of the offenses, you should not be found guilty. There may be several legal defenses available, including:

  • The material was not a controlled substance
  • Unlawful search and seizure
  • The drugs were manufactured by someone else
  • You lacked knowledge of the drug manufacturing activities
  • You have been falsely accused or an eyewitness has mistakenly identifed

How an Attorney Can Help After a Drug Manufacturing Arrest

An experienced criminal defense attorney understands the elements of drug manufacturing charges. Your attorney can investigate your case and examine the evidence to develop a strong legal defense. A local criminal defense lawyer may also be familiar with the police, prosecutor, and judge involved and help you understand what you can expect.

An attorney may also be able to negotiate with the judge and prosecutor to reduce your prison sentence or have the charge lowered to a misdemeanor. You may also avoid a criminal drug conviction by going through drug court or a drug diversion program. Find a law office with experience handling drug manufacturing charges to understand your legal options.

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