Drug manufacturing charge has been steadily on the rise due to the rise in popularity of making homemade illegal drugs such as methamphetamines, LSD and other party drugs. Thus, law enforcement has also been aggressive in cracking down and punishing people involved in drug manufacturing.
What constitutes a drug manufacturing charge?
You can be charge with drug manufacturing if you are found to have been involved in any way in the process of producing illegal or controlled drugs. Therefore, if you are found to be in possession of any chemicals used to make illegal drugs or equipment that are also used for manufacturing, then it can be grounds for arrest due to drug manufacturing charges. Even if you are just selling the materials and/or chemicals, you may still be liable as long as you are aware that the materials and/or chemicals sold are to be used for such illegal activity.
Intent to manufacture illegal drugs must also be established for a valid drug manufacturing charge. Thus, being caught with a pre-cursor chemical, like pseudoephedrine for example may not be enough for a drug manufacturing charge. However if you are found to have drug equipments and other chemicals used to make drugs in your home or property after further investigation, then that is enough for a drug manufacturing charge.
What are the consequences if found guilty of drug manufacturing charge?
Drug manufacturing charges are categorized as felony charges which mean that punishment can be very significant. Though punishment will most definitely include prison time and hefty fines, the gravity of the penalties will depend on certain circumstances like the amount of illegal drugs and precursor chemicals discovered in the investigation. If your home laboratory or drug manufacturing home laboratory is located near where children might be present, like parks or schools, then you will surely have more severe punishments.
Typically, prison time punishments would be at least 1 to 2 years depending on state laws where you are being prosecuted. Fines may also be as high as $25,000 to some cases, it can even reach up to a million dollars.
In Colorado, state laws allow people to cultivate marijuana plants as long as the number of plants does not exceed 6. This is because Colorado is one of the many states that have legalized medical and recreational use of marijuana. On the other hand, federal laws states that anyone found to be cultivating more than 50 plants of marijuana can be charged with drug manufacturing and can be sentenced to 5 years in prison. If found cultivating more than 1,000 plants, you can be sentenced to 25 years in prison or more.
But being found to have marijuana seeds in your possession during random traffic stops does not make you suspect to drug manufacturing through marijuana cultivation, unless found with other paraphernalia that would suggest otherwise. However, people with license to cultivate are always exempted from drug manufacturing charges. It is the same for pharmaceutical companies that often handle chemicals and equipment that are also identified as used for production of illegal/controlled drugs.