Although it never seemed to be open for business, a furniture store in Gilroy seemed innocuous enough to passers by. The truth of the matter, say local law enforcement representatives, is that it was a front for a large grow house, containing over 1,000 marijuana plants in the storage area where furniture should have been. A 39-year-old man (name withheld to protect the privacy of the accused) has been arrested on charges of illegal cultivation of marijuana, distribution, and theft of utilities. After completing a search of the grounds, police also found approximately 50 pounds of processed marijuana in addition to the plants.
The fact that medical marijuana has been available to consumers for quite some time now in California does not change the fact that other laws concerning this particular drug are still harsh. It is still illegal to plant, harvest, dry, process, or otherwise cultivate marijuana in the state, unless you have permission from authorities to do so in connection with a medical marijuana license (or if you are the primary caregiver for someone who has permission to use medical marijuana).
The laws concerning this particular crime are so severe that you need not even be aware that marijuana is being cultivated on your property in order to be arrested. According to the California Health and Safety Code 11358, the illegal cultivation of marijuana is considered a felony. Even for a first offense, you could end up spending up to 3 years in county jail. Furthermore, if it is suggested that you were cultivating marijuana for the purposes of selling it (CA Health and Safety Code 11359), you may be looking at an additional 3 years in jail.