Drug Distribution and Manufacturing
The drug distribution laws of California make it a crime to sell, transfer, transport, and import marijuana, controlled substances, and illegal drugs. The distribution of prescription drugs is also criminalized if the defendant did not have a license to dispense and sell them.
Under Health & Safety Code 11379.6 HS, it is a felony to manufacture, produce, compound or process a controlled substance. Operating a meth lab or making hashish from compressed marijuana resin are commonly encountered violations.
The penalties for a drug distribution conviction vary according to the drug type and the distribution-related activity, as well as the defendant’s previous record and if there are circumstances, such as gang activities that call for sentencing enhancements.
The sale, transfer, transport, and import of illegal drugs can result in a 3-5 year prison sentence. Transporting them from one county to another is punishable by up to 9 years in prison. Anyone who sells controlled substances to children or who hires or employs a minor to sell them can be incarcerated for 3, 6 or 9 years. California also has a sentencing enhancement that applies when drugs are distributed within 1,000 feet of schools, school-hosted programs, or open playgrounds.
Marijuana distribution is a felony that can send a person to prison for 2, 3, or 4 years unless the amount involved is less than 28.5 grams and it is not concentrated cannabis. Then a misdemeanor penalty may apply instead and the punishment changed to a fine of no more than $100.
Manufacturing controlled substances is a felony punishable by 3, 5, or 7 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. Even offering to manufacture drugs is a felony. If minors either live or are present in the drug-manufacturing location, or are harmed as a result of the operation, an additional and consecutive prison term of 5 years applies.
Other sentencing enhancements related to drug manufacturing include:
● Manufacturing large quantities of a substance containing GHB, PCP, or methamphetamines
● Causing injury or death to another person as a result of manufacturing PCP or meth
● Presence of prior drug convictions
● Involvement in activities that incurs related offenses
On the federal level, the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs is punishable by a minimum penalty of a $250,000 fine and / or up to 3 years in a federal prison. For more severe offenses, such as manufacturing and distributing large quantities, a conviction can result in an $8,000,000 fine and life in prison.
Allowing others to manufacture drugs in one’s home or other structure, being under the influence of a controlled substance, possessing drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of a controlled substance for sale
Anyone charged with manufacturing and / or distributing a controlled substance must contact a California criminal defense attorney immediately. California has toughest anti-drug laws with sentencing enhancements that can add years if prison time, so experienced legal advice is necessary.
Defenses to drug distribution or manufacturing charges include mistaken identity, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and illegal search and seizure. If charged with manufacturing, a person may claim that their actions had been preparatory, and no actual manufacturing had taken place.
In June 2014 the Los Angeles P.D. received calls stating that a man had been heard screaming in his Van Nuys apartment. When five officers arrived on scene, they became ill upon entering the unit. The suspect had been manufacturing Dimethyltryptamine, a hallucinogenic drug more commonly known as DMT.
An estimated $20,000 worth of DMT was found in the apartment, and the suspect was arrested on felony manufacturing charges. The five officers were released from hospital after being treated for chemical exposure.