A friend of mine is planning to leave tomorrow for California to trim marijuana on a farm somewhere in Humboldt County. I'd like to know: 1) if anyone is prosecuting people caught on 'illegal' marijuana farms, 2) what the charge or sentence is for people caught trimming/cutting, 3) whether the political climate (w/ marijuana on the ballot to be legalized in CA) is changing the game and increasing the risk.
Thank you for any help and advice you can provide. If she's risking three felonies and five years in federal prison I'll try to convince her not to go. If she's risking not getting paid because the farm operator get shut down then I probably won't. Another thing I wonder is whether illegal marijuana farm operators ever rip workers off, since the workers have no real recourse.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Yes, a person working on a marijuana grow can be prosecuted for participating in cultivating marijuana for sale. The person can be prosecuted in both state and federal court and receive a substantial amount of prison time as a consequence. These laws are not likely to change anytime soon, even if Prop 19 is passed. As for the wisdom of participating in a criminal enterprise, getting involved with sophisticated, and potentially violent, criminals is never a good idea.
Yes anyone working on a farm can be prosecuted for illegal cultivation, possession with intent to sell, conspiracy, and/or maintaining a place for the storage of narcotics. These charges are all felonies with a max 3 years in state prison commitment.
The political climate has made the police more aware of the issue, more vocal against it and they have dug their heals into the ground with regards to marijuana. Most police believe marijuana is an illicit controlled substance and treat it the same as heroin or meth.
I have represented many Marijuana defendants with cases in Northern California and even the trimmers get busted and look at some sort of jail time. No farm pays enough based on the risk of getting busted and the potential jail time, probation and cost of an attorney.