John Doe (27) and his girlfriend (also 27) (names withheld in order to protect the privacy of the accused) were arrested recently in Windsor when police visited their home on Pedroncelli Drive to conduct a routine probation search. It seems that though he knew the terms of his probation, but was willing to take the risk of growing marijuana in his back yard in plain sight of anyone passing by, including law enforcement officials. When the officers entered the home, they found various loaded weapons and a small fridge laden with marijuana lollipops, jerky, popcorn, and muffins. These were all within the easy reach of the couple’s 2 and 4-year-old children, some of it placed with their toys. In addition, there was a 100-plant grow room, 40 plants in the back yard area, pot that had already been processed, and a lab for creating butane hash oil. He was arrested on charges of marijuana cultivation and sales, possession, violating his probation, child endangerment, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and operating a hash oil laboratory. On the other hand, she was arrested for child endangerment and for having tried to obstruct an investigation by an officer.
Child endangerment laws (CA Penal Code 273a) carry severe penalties. If you are convicted of such a charge, you could spend up to 6 years in state prison and pay a $10,000 fine, depending on how much harm the child, or children, were placed in. On the other hand, the possession of any amount of marijuana is considered a felony in California, especially if the police can find evidence that you intend to sell it or have sold it (CA Health and Safety Code 11358, 11359, 11364, and CA Penal Code 1000). If you are caught with more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, you may only face 6 months in county jail and a $500 fine. However, if there are sales involved, you will spend a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 4 years in state prison. Distribution, additionally, will end in up to 3 years in prison. The possession of hash and other marijuana concentrates could also end in 1 year in prison and a $500 fine.