The growth, use and regulation of marijuana currently resides in a grey zone in the United States.With some marijuana use being legal in the state of Colorado but still illegal federally, the law in this area can get confusing. In Colorado, a person over the age of 21 may grow up to six plants for personal use (with no more than three mature plants at a time). However, growing any more than this is illegal and comes with varying punishments in relation to the number of plants. Caregivers can also grow marijuana for themselves and their patients and each county can limit the number of plants that can be grown
Illicit Pot or Pirate Grows
Recently, the growth of illicit pot, or “pirate grows,” in Colorado has increased. Hiding behind the veil of Colorado’s legalization, many people in state and some that come from out of state grow illegal marijuana with the intent to sell it in state or export it to other states or countries. These pirate grows take place both on land and in rented or purchased homes and businesses throughout Colorado. Police seized 2,400 marijuana plants as a result of eight raids in the Pueblo area in April of 2016.
So what is the punishment for pirate grows? As previously stated, this depends on the number of plants discovered. For most, possessing between seven and 29 plants is a class five felony and includes 1-3 years in prison, a fine of $1,000 – $100,000, or both. Possessing 30 or more plants (or conducting marijuana processing operations) is a class four felony and includes 2-6 years in prison, a fine of $2,000 – $500,000, or both. A second offense of manufacturing will result in a class three felony with a mandatory minimum prison sentence of four years (which the judge may extend up to 12 years) and a fine of $3,000 – $750,000.
Clearly these are severe charges that must be taken seriously.
For more information, check out Why Drug Possession in Colorado Is Sometimes Charged as Trafficking?
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