LASD narcotics investigators’ big bud bust nets $6.1 million in marijuana in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles early Wednesday morning. Police had been receiving tips and information from the public, and served a search warrant Wednesday morning at a warehouse on West 134th street. Once inside, investigators discovered 20 lbs. of finished product and about 2,700 live plants. The street value of the finished marijuana and that of the plants is estimated to be over $6 million dollars.
Two individuals living in the warehouse were discovered along with the marijuana and were arrested and charged with cultivating marijuana. Deputies transported the two suspects to CRDF for booking. Their bail is currently set at $50,000.
Despite the arrest of the two suspects, the investigation regarding the drugs is still ongoing.
Cultivating marijuana is covered under California Health and Safety Code 11358 HS. Anyone who is not legally entitled to use marijuana or is the primary caregiver of someone who is can be charged with violating 11358 HS for:
- Drying or
- Processing marijuana.
11358 HS is an interesting law in that one does not necessarily have to be caught in the act to be charged with it. All one needs to do is take active participation in the cultivation or processing of marijuana and/or have dominion over the property on which the marijuana was processed/cultivated and you knew that it was there.
As mentioned above, some individuals may be exempt from this law. Anyone who has a legitimate prescription for marijuana and a medical marijuana ID card can grow up to 6 mature plants, 12 immature plants or more with a doctor’s recommendation. Additionally, the primary caregiver of someone who is legally allowed to grow marijuana can also grow it for the patient’s use, and does not need a medical marijuana ID card.
Violations of 11358 HS are charged as felonies. If an individual has no prior drug-related convictions, the possible penalties include 16 months, 2 or 3 years in county jail. If the individual is a first-time, nonviolent offender and the marijuana was for personal use only, then the defendant may be eligible to take part in a drug treatment program instead of jail time.