Marijuana Cultivation in Utah

Four young adults were arrested in Cache County, Utah for multiple drug charges including marijuana cultivation.

Photo by: Mark

Photo by: Mark

Drug Raid in Northern Utah

During a raid on a Logan Utah home on July 21st 2015, four people between the ages of 18 and 21 years old were arrested when officers arrived at the home in the early morning hours with a search warrant.  Located inside with the four individuals were two pounds of marijuana, mushrooms, and two marijuana plants.  Since the plants were found, marijuana cultivation will be added to the possession charges.

Illegal gardening

Whether it’s a mini garden consisting of a couple plants in a home closet or hundreds of plants spread across acres of land, marijuana cultivation is against the law in the state of Utah.  While neighboring states may be relaxing laws regarding possession and marijuana cultivation, Utah so far has not.  Those found guilty of marijuana cultivation can face up to five years in prison.

Law and penalties for marijuana cultivation

Utah code 58-37-8 states that “it is unlawful for any person to knowingly and intentionally produce, manufacture, or dispense, or to possess with intent to produce, manufacture, or dispense, a controlled or counterfeit substance.”  Any person found violating this law in regards to marijuana is guilty of a 3rd degree felony while repeat offenses would be 2nd degree felonies.

In due time

Excluding the nineteen states where marijuana is legal for medicinal purposes; four states have legalized marijuana for recreational use as well.  All of those states where recreational marijuana use is legal are surrounding Utah in the western United States.  It’s just a matter of time before the majority of the states including Utah have similar laws.  Until then, possession or marijuana cultivation is not worth the consequences.  For more information on marijuana laws, or to seek counsel regarding possession or marijuana cultivation charges, contact a criminal defense attorney.

Marijuana Cultivation, Other Felony Charges for Spanish Fork Couple

marijuana cultivation for Spanish Fork couple

Photo: A7nubis/Wikimedia Commons

On Thursday, Feb. 26, a husband and wife in Spanish Fork were arrested on suspicion of marijuana cultivation for an operation set up in a shed on their property. The couple was booked into the Utah County Jail and is being investigated for numerous other felony and misdemeanor offenses.

That’s Why You Buy an RV

In the popular AMC television drama “Breaking Bad,” the main characters obtain a large RV which they drive to the middle of the desert and produce methamphetamines. One of the reasons they do this is the smell produced by the chemical reactions required to manufacture the drug. Edwin and Valerie Steward of Spanish Fork would’ve been wise to heed this bit of plot.

According to a report from KSL News, detectives performed a walk-by of the Steward residence on Saturday, Feb. 21, after receiving a tip that the couple was growing marijuana on their property. According to a probable cause statement, detectives picked up “the distinct odor of marijuana.”

Detectives returned Thursday with the Department of Child and Family Services on what KSL is calling “an unrelated case.” They asked for permission to search the Steward’s shed, but Valerie Steward refused to give consent. Not long after the visit, detectives observed the Stewards loading boxes into a truck “very rapid(ly).”

After the Stewards left the residence in the truck, officers performed a traffic stop and found numerous marijuana plants, soil, fertilizers, horticulture lights, and various other items used for marijuana cultivation.

Edwin Steward claimed the marijuana was for personal use. Both Stewards tested positive for THC, and Valerie Steward also tested positive for PCP. After Edwin signed a consent form, detectives found the shed to be “equipped for the cultivation of marijuana including a ventilation system.”

Apparently not a good enough one.

Two firearms were also located on the premises. When all was said and done, the couple is being investigated on suspicion of drug paraphernalia, marijuana cultivation, obstruction of justice, and possession of a firearm by a restricted person. All of the drug charges have the additional penalty dealing with the fact that the Steward’s lived in a Utah designated drug-free zone.

Marijuana Cultivation is a Felony

According to the Utah Criminal Code 57-37-8 of the Utah Controlled Substances Act as applies to the Stewards, it is “unlawful for any person to knowingly and intentionally; produce, manufacture, or dispense, or to possess with intent to produce, manufacture, or dispense, a controlled or counterfeit substance.” The Utah Code lists marijuana cultivation with Schedule III or IV substances as a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

However, again, the Steward’s lived in a drug-free zone. A first degree felony is punishable by five years to life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Either way, marijuana cultivation is a very serious charge. If you or someone you know has been charged with marijuana cultivation—or any other charge—be sure to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Don’t leave your future—or potential lack of one—in the hands of a public defender.