The Florida economy has weathered some tough economic times and unemployment rates are high. The slow economy has led to a surprising trend in crime. Law enforcement has made an increased number of marijuana cultivation arrests. The combination of few job opportunities, an increased amount of abandoned and foreclosed homes, and the continued demand for marijuana has resulted in a drastic increase in marijuana grow houses.
Due to complaints, police have increased their seizure of evidence found at suspected marijuana grow houses. Officials have added more resources in an effort to answer community complaints of suspected grow houses. The added police forces now conduct “knock and talks” at suspected grow house locations.Under certain situations, police officers undergo long-term surveillance to zero in on the extent of the grow house operation.
Hydroponic technology permits grow house offenders to create large quantities of cannabis at a rapid rate with minimal maintenance. When using hydroponics, drug crime defendants unwittingly tip off law enforcement due to the very high power bill that indoor grow laps generate. Police use the high power consumption to prove their case showing the suspected cannabis grow house exists in violation of Florida law.
In previous times, cannabis grow house charges were a relatively rare allegation. With the insurgence of new arrests for grow houses, the Florida legislatures and state prosecutors have taken a much tougher stance to try and rid the grow house operations in Florida and to address the public outcry for a greater crackdown of the drug houses.
Usually, a cannabis charge constitutes a third-degree felony, they can rapidly become a second or first degree felony. A few years ago, the law was amended to dictate that a grow operation involving 25 or more marijuana plans constituted evidence that the plants were intended for sale or distribution.
An investigation leading to an arrest for operating a grow house is bad enough. The situation can grow worse if the cultivation operation includes 300 or more cannabis plants elevating the offense to a first-degree felony for drug trafficking. We all know what a plant is, but Florida law is very specific in providing a legal definition for a cannabis plant. It is defined as seeding or cuttings with noticeable “root formation.Law enforcement can include dead or harvested cannabis plans into their plant count. Florida drug trafficking charges carry minimum mandatory prison sentences upon a conviction.
Ryan Rooth is a Florida lawyer who fights for the rights of those accused of crimes. He can help you in your criminal case and negotiate with the prosecutor or represent your case in court. If you have been arrested or have questions about criminal law, claim your FREE e-book providing help on your Florida criminal case, available at =>