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Feds arrest 3 for cultivating marijuana and making hash oil

Federal and state agents continue to make dramatic marijuana arrests in California despite the fact that medical marijuana is legal and even though a ballot measure asking the public to legalize pot is imminent. Although most California lawmakers and office holders favor some form of legalization, this fact also has not visibly dampened the fervor of law enforcement authorities. They apparently are continuing to invest substantial resources in the war against marijuana.  

Additionally, they continue to announce raids for the seizure of marijuana plants as fervently as if the drug was as dangerous as cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine. In one such raid, three men were arrested in La Mesa recently after DEA agents seized 250 marijuana plants that were allegedly growing in the suspects' private home. Officials made a point to emphasize that the home was set up to extract hashish oil from the growing plants. The procedure for extracting hash oil has reportedly resulted in explosions due to the volatility of the extraction process.

It is unclear whether the authorities seized actual hash oil in the raid. Hash oil, or hashish, is an extract from the plants that contains a concentration of the key elements that activate the marijuana high. Press reports are unclear whether actual hash oils were seized in the raid.

Other than the general accusation of possession and cultivation of the marijuana plants, the news reports do not indicate the precise charges that the three men are facing. Authorities also reported that it appeared that a child was living on the premises in that they found clothes and a crib. There is no indication, however, that a child was taken into custody by California child welfare interests or that the agents could even identify a child  for purposes of bringing charges. In an arrest of this nature, one task of criminal defense counsel is to make a thorough investigation of the propriety of the search warrant and the actions of the authorities in processing that warrant.

Source: cbs8.com, "Arrests made in hazmat drug bust in La Mesa home", Steve Price, Aug. 6, 2015

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