Does the headline sound a little like an oxymoron? It almost is, but when you start to delve a little deeper, it’s easy to see why the bust took place. Marijuana is legal in California, where this raid occurred, so you might be wondering how someone could get arrested for growing.
How Could Arrests Be Made Where It’s Legal?
Even though marijuana might have been legalized in the state for medical and recreational use, it does not mean that people are allowed to have their own massive grow operations. There are laws in place that restrict how much an individual is able to grow for their own use. There are some large businesses in the state that have permits that allow them to have large operations. The only way to grow large amounts of pot is through a commercial permit, which is something that these people did not have. Getting and keeping compliant with those permits is difficult.
The operation in question was truly large. The police in Riverside, CA seized about $20 million worth of marijuana from the illegal grow operation. In addition to seizing the marijuana, everything else at this operation was seized, as well. This includes the vehicles on the property, tractors, and all of the equipment that was being used.
It seems that the police received a tip from someone about the operation. At least one of the neighbors also said that there was a strong smell coming from the property, which occurs when the marijuana plants are maturing. Once the police were told, they set up an operation to raid the 10-acre property in Riverside.
Why Does This Happen?
You might still be wondering just why the state gets so bent out of shape when this happens and when people grow too much marijuana on their own and without a commercial permit. Ultimately, it is all about money. The marijuana that is commercially grown and sold in California, like other states, is taxable. The state makes money from these taxes. If someone has a massive illegal grow operation, that means that the state is losing out on that money, and that is something they cannot let slide.
In addition, there are safety elements involved, too. Those who have a commercial permit are required to meet certain standards. This helps to ensure that the marijuana that is sold to the public is safe.
What Should People Do?
If you live in a county or a state where cannabis is legal, and you feel that you might want to try your hand at growing it, do it right. You have to make sure that you learn, know, and understand all of the laws regarding this in your jurisdiction. If you break the law, whether you are aware of the law or not, you are still going to get in trouble. Do things the right way, and you are not going to have any problems.
You have to learn not only about growing according to the law, but also carrying and transporting. For example, in California, just because it is legal does not mean that you can always have it with you and use it wherever you want. You cannot light a joint or vape just anywhere. You can also only possess on your person one ounce of marijuana or eight grams of concentrated marijuana. If you are transporting it in a vehicle, it needs to be in a sealed container or in the trunk of the vehicle. This is not too dissimilar from laws regarding alcohol.