Edmonton Grow Houses and Grow Ops – Get a Lawyer.
Section 7 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act deals with the “Production of Substance” and states that unless one is authorized under the regulations, “no person shall produce a substance included in Schedule I, II, II or IV. There are various penalties then set out. A lawyer can help you navigate all these sections.
Section 2 of the Act contains a definition for “produce” and it includes among other things, “manufacturing” and “cultivating”.
Growing is cultivating and the practice of growing cannabis inside of houses using hydroponics’ techniques is fairly widespread. Very illegal, but fairly widespread.
Alberta law enforcement authorities “crack down” on grow houses from time to time. They have also encouraged people to report any locations they suspect to be a grow house.
Generally, the police require a search warrant to enter a home or other place on suspicion of it being a grow house.
In most cases, the police obtain a report from an investigating officer in which the grounds for believing that a grow house exists are laid out. This then becomes the basis for a search warrant request. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms comes into play in many situations and it is in challenging the validity of search warrants that a criminal lawyer benefits from experience.
Some factors that may support the granting of a search warrant include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Frequent coming and going of people from a home who don’t stay for long
- Excessive use of water
- High or spiking electricity bills
- Low or no electricity bills
- The hijacking of power from a neighbor
- Lack of activity in the home
- Curtains and blinds drawn all the time
- The smell of the drugs being grown coming from the home
If the location indeed turns out to be a grow house, the owner and any people found there are liable to be charged. It can be difficult to actually prove who was in possession or control of the grow house operation, particularly if no people are caught red handed on the premises. A lawyer can help you if you have been charged with anything to do with a grow op.
Running a grow house is a much more serious crime as compared to mere possession of drugs. However, the punishment is generally lighter than those handed out for the actual trafficking of drugs.
The length of the sentence which the courts hand out depend on the type of drug being cultivated in the grow house and all the circumstances of the case. Growing some of the more ‘recreational’ drugs such as marijuana is likely to attract a lower sentence as compared to if one is found to be in possession of a “meth lab” making crystal methamphetamine or any of it’s derivatives.
Running a meth lab can land you in prison for a long time.
Depending on the situation, conditional sentences coupled with a fine and probation can be appropriate.
Convictions for drug offenses usually have serous consequences for travel, recreation, business and immigration to the United States. Drug convictions are probably the most common ground that people are denied entry into the USA.
Many drug trials are technical in nature and these are areas where an experienced criminal defence lawyer can really make a difference.
Being convicted of operating a grow house is a serious conviction, even if only a few plants were involved and even if it wasn’t really your stuff. When multiple convictions start to pile up, the sentences get stiffer. Just because you have been charged with an offense does not make you guilty. In Canada you are considered innocent until proven guilty and you have numerous legal rights available to you, including many under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Don’t give up your rights – call Geoff Green today. He can help you.
Geoff Green – Criminal Defence Lawyer For Alberta
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