Oklahoma has a reputation for having a high rate of meth addiction and meth manufacture. While an estimated 90-95 percent of the methamphetamine in Oklahoma is actually trafficked in from Mexico, the state still has a large number of active meth labs producing local methamphetamine. In fact, Tulsa gained the dubious distinction of being the “Meth Capital of the World” for the number of clandestine labs discovered and busted in the county.
Meth is not the only commonly produced drug in Oklahoma. Cannibis, the plant from which marijuana is derived, grows wild in Oklahoma, and this demonstrates a temperate climate suitable to cultivation of the marijuana for sale. Much like meth, the majority of marijuana in the state is imported from Mexico, but local growers have a strong presence despite the efforts of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (OBN) to eradicate marijuana cultivation.
Cultivating or manufacturing a Controlled Dangerous Substance is penalized harshly under Oklahoma drug laws. Even as a first offense, drug cultivation and drug manufacture are felonies, punishable by a maximum of life in prison. Prosecutors aggressively pursue those accused of producing illicit drugs, and anyone accused of cultivation or manufacture should obtain skillful legal representation to defend against penalties the United States Attorney General himself calls “draconian.”
At Law Firm of Oklahoma, we have successfully represented clients in similar situations, accused of manufacturing a CDS or growing marijuana.
Crystal meth is considered one of the easiest drugs to make. Its manufacture does not require elaborate labs or hard-to-find ingredients. Rather, it is made with commonly available ingredients including the over-the-counter cold medicine pseudoephedrine. With the introduction of the Oklahoma Meth Offender Registry and the OBN’s Pseudoephedrine Controls, it is more difficult for meth manufacturers to obtain pseudoephedrine, but this has not served to end meth labs in Oklahoma. With the available ingredients, meth can be manufactured in “one-pot labs” using a “shake and bake method.” Often the “lab” is a simple plastic bottle.
When charged with a first offense of manufacturing a CDS in Oklahoma, a defendant faces a mandatory minimum of 7 years in prison with the possibility of a life term. Mandatory minimums increase for subsequent convictions: 14 years for a second offense and 21 years for a third offense. In all cases, the maximum penalty for manufacturing meth, crack, LSD, heroin, or other CDS is life in prison. The fine associated with illegal drug manufacture is a maximum of $100,000.
Additionally, a person convicted of manufacturing meth will be placed on the Oklahoma Methamphetamine Offender Registry, prohibiting him or her from legally purchasing or possessing pseudoephedrine. Violation of the Meth Offender Registry carries separate and additional prison terms and fines.
The predominant marijuana in Oklahoma is Mexico-grown, and with the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, more is being illegally trafficked to Oklahoma from that state, with the OBN spokesman saying that more access leads to greater demand. Still, much of Oklahoma’s marijuana is locally grown, either in indoor operations or through large-scale outdoor crops. Oklahoma marijuana crops may be detected by helicopter or drone surveillance, but occasionally, hunters stumble upon a marijuana cultivation operation by mistake. In 2010, turkey hunters in Nowata County came across seven fields containing more than 32,000 marijuana plants, which law enforcement officials destroyed. In August of 2013, law enforcement acting on a tip found and destroyed 6,300 plants near Mannford. Two months later, a hunter in Creek County came across a marijuana growing operation in which most of the crop had been harvested and was drying. Officials burned an estimated 3,000 plants with an approximate street value of $810,000.
The presence of a large number of plants or seeds or the possession of equipment used for cultivation elevates a charge from simple drug possession to drug cultivation. People often mistakenly believe that marijuana charges are not serious, and while a first offense of simple possession is a misdemeanor, all other marijuana-related offenses are felonies. Marijuana cultivation is punishable by a maximum of life in prison, even on the first offense.
At Law Firm of Oklahoma, we understand the seriousness of the charges you face. We know that you cannot leave your fate to chance, and through painstaking attention to detail and careful evaluation of your case, we work diligently to craft a strong defense that preserves your rights and brings your case to its optimal resolution.
Call (405) 608-4990 or submit the online case review form for a free, confidential analysis of your case. Do not wait to get the help you need. Call today.