Growing marijuana is not a legal term in Maryland, as anyone arrested for growing marijuana will most likely be charged with manufacturing marijuana or possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute. Unfortunately for citizens who legitimately grow marijuana for their personal use, police and prosecuting lawyers will almost certainly charge a marijuana grower with felony manufacturing regardless of how many plants he or she is alleged to have possessed. Drug manufacturing is defined as producing, preparing, or compounding any controlled substance. Manufacturing includes naturally extracting a substance such as marijuana or chemically engineering a substance such as cocaine or MDMA. Although the drug manufacturing law does not mention growing, Maryland case law specifically holds that growing marijuana can be considered manufacturing marijuana. On the other hand, if you have been arrested for growing marijuana, an experienced drug lawyer may be able to prevent this charge from being filed, and will fight to have marijuana manufacturing charges dropped in the event that this charge is filed.
A person can be arrested and charged with growing marijuana for operating an indoor grow house, or for growing the plant outside in open air. Outdoor marijuana plants are typically harvested during the fall, and there is often an increase in police helicopter surveillance activity in September and October as a result. The state police, DEA, and other Maryland law enforcement offices often conduct flyover surveillance in the more rural areas of Maryland, such as northern Baltimore County, and Prince George’s County. This type of police activity is legal, and supported by case law as long as the helicopter does not hover at a level that would be too intrusive. If police observe marijuana plants in a person’s backyard or garden they may use these observations to initiate an investigation that could ultimately lead to a search warrant and possible arrests. Indoor marijuana growing operations can occur at highly sophisticated grow houses, or could include as little as one plant growing a person’s closet. Either way, if police were somehow to gain entry into a person’s home and observe marijuana plants growing an arrest for drug manufacturing will likely be the result. A Maryland marijuana lawyer may be able to have the evidence in a drug manufacturing case suppressed, and possibly have charges dismissed. Contact The Herbst Firm today if you have been involved in a marijuana growing case.