What’s The Punishment for Growing Marijuana?
How illegal, exactly, is it to possess or cultivate weed in British Columbia? It’s simple to find real examples of what happens just by looking on the web. Below I have some actual examples of sentences.
North Vancouver Court. June 2011 Charges: Possession of Marijuana. The grower was caught by police and charged. The defense lawyer argued that it was not in the public interest to send the grower to jail. The court agreed, and sent him to an alternative program. He received the conditional sentence and completed the course. He did not get a criminal record.
Nanaimo Provincial Court. May 2011.Charge: Production / Possession for the Purposes of Trafficking. The Crown had to prove that $2000 seized by police from the defendant was proceeds of crime. The defense lawyer persuaded the court to return the funds to the defendant.
Nanaimo BC, Provincial Court. February 2011. Offense: Production and possession of more than 3 kilos of pot. The Crown said that the grower was producing over 200 plants. The lawyer for the defense successfully convinced the crown to reduce the charges. Then, he got the court to grant a conditional sentence of nine months. The Crown then asked that the grower be disallowed from possessing grow equipment, but the Court rejected that request.
Vancouver Provincial Court. October, 2010. Charge: Cultivation and possession of marijuana. The question was whether the police search warrant was valid. The grow operation had 250 plants. The police had to show that the grower had knowledge of and controlled the operation. The defense lawyer made his case to the Crown and they decided to stay the proceedings. No criminal record for the grower.
Provincial Court, Abbottsford. Fall, 2010. Charge: Possession and cultivation of marijuana. The grower possessed more than 1000 plants in a huge grow op. His lawyer negotiated a plea bargain that had his client admit to possession of only 63 clones. That equates to a guilty plea to possession of less than three kilos. Three month’s conditional sentence, and no jail time.
Williams Lake Supreme Court. May, 2010. Charge: Production and Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking . Issue: The police caught a grower with a 5000 plant plus operation. The lawyer argued that they breached his rights by getting him to confess. After going to court the defense lawyer turned this into a plea bargain. The Crown originally wanted two years, but the defense lawyer got it reduced to a 12 month conditional sentence without house arrest. Also, there was no electronic monitoring and no probation.
This history of charges and the results is instructive. The courts are very lenient. Growers got their wrists slapped. Some escaped with no criminal record. It’s obvious that British Columbia is soft on marijuana production and possession.