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Guilt By Finances


Cheliose
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One thing that seems to escape care givers is the financial aspect of their operation.

 

It is easy to imagine a false sense of security based on being within your plant count and weight limit. Because let's face it; it is easy to get rid of product as you harvest and it is easy to grow enough to divert. The wiggle room provided by the MMMA can provide a lot of incentive to try to exploit your situation.

 

Here is something else you must consider. What you are doing has financial realities and prosecutors know this. If you consider the "reasonable compensation" part of the law it is easy to come up with a maximum gross from what you produce. Given this, your expenses must be below the gross.

 

For example. Suppose you and two other caregivers purchase a house for growing. The house was $90,000 and could be rented for $1000 per month. Instead of renting, you grow 180 plants which is your limit. You have 5 patients each with a total of 15. If they use $300 per moth in product, that comes to $4,500 per month. Now, if you spend $1000 per month in utilities, $1000 per month mortgage and an additional $300 for supplies, $100 per month in property tax, etc. That comes to an expense of $2,400 per month. Now add to that the $1000 you could be getting for rent and you are at a net expense of $3,400 per month.

 

Now, we have a net profit of $1,100 max divided three ways. So, you end up with $350 per month for all of your hard work.

 

Now clearly, this could be accomplished. But the question is whether or not a judge or jury would likely believe that your intentions are only to provide for your patients and not to divert product. Going to all the trouble of buying a dedicated grow house project involving 3 guys in order to each net $350 per month is going to be a tough sell.

 

Likewise, you can not buy a building and rent out $1,500 grow rooms to a guy who can legally only gross $1,500. Again, the numbers don't makes sense unless product is being diverted - then it makes lots of sense.

 

The same goes for free meds. If you are supplying only your 5 people but are providing all the free meds they can smoke, who is compensating you? The only obvious answer is that you are using the MMMA as a cover for diverting product. That is kind of a no brainer. And no, the argument that you are just a great guy and come out of pocket just to be nice isn't going to fly.

 

In the end, you want to understand that prosecutors are not idiots and that it is easy to accidentally convict your self by not keeping an eye on the reasonable nature of your financial realities. If you already have space you simply are not using and can show that your expenses are reasonable you are golden. But if the numbers don't add up, neither will your story.

 

That is after all how the busted Al Capone.

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One thing that seems to escape care givers is the financial aspect of their operation.

 

It is easy to imagine a false sense of security based on being within your plant count and weight limit. Because let's face it; it is easy to get rid of product as you harvest and it is easy to grow enough to divert. The wiggle room provided by the MMMA can provide a lot of incentive to try to exploit your situation.

 

Here is something else you must consider. What you are doing has financial realities and prosecutors know this. If you consider the "reasonable compensation" part of the law it is easy to come up with a maximum gross from what you produce. Given this, your expenses must be below the gross.

 

For example. Suppose you and two other caregivers purchase a house for growing. The house was $90,000 and could be rented for $700 per month. Instead of renting, you grow 180 plants which is your limit. You have 5 patients each with a total of 15. If they use $300 per moth in product, that comes to $4,500 per month. Now, if you spend $1000 per month in utilities, $1000 per month mortgage and an additional $300 for supplies, $100 per month in property tax, etc. That comes to an expense of $2,400 per month. Now add to that the $1000 you could be getting for rent and you are at a net expense of $3,400 per month.

 

Now, we have a net profit of $1,100 max divided three ways. So, you end up with $350 per month for all of your hard work.

 

Now clearly, this could be accomplished. But the question is whether or not a judge or jury would likely believe that your intentions are only to provide for your patients and not to divert product. Going to all the trouble of buying a dedicated grow house project involving 3 guys in order to each net $350 per month is going to be a tough sell.

 

Likewise, you can not buy a building and rent out $1,500 grow rooms to a guy who can legally only gross $1,500. Again, the numbers don't makes sense unless product is being diverted - then it makes lots of sense.

 

The same goes for free meds. If you are supplying only your 5 people but are providing all the free meds they can smoke, who is compensating you? The only obvious answer is that you are using the MMMA as a cover for diverting product. That is kind of a no brainer. And no, the argument that you are just a great guy and come out of pocket just to be nice isn't going to fly.

 

In the end, you want to understand that prosecutors are not idiots and that it is easy to accidentally convict your self by not keeping an eye on the reasonable nature of your financial realities. If you already have space you simply are not using and can show that your expenses are reasonable you are golden. But if the numbers don't add up, neither will your story.

 

That is after all how the busted Al Capone.

This bears repeating often. Always account for your income! The Al Capone analogy is right on.

 

The IRS will consider it a business. Talk to a CPA/Tax Lawyer. Pay your income tax.

 

For those giving it away, you need to be able to justify the non profit operation because the IRS won't understand and will assume you are for profit and their estimates of your income will be the maximum.

 

12 plants at a pound per plant times $25 a gram 4 times a year and so on.

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I must say that your post is well written and does bring up some interesting things to keep in mind, I commend you on the effort put into it.

 

That being said, I must ask a couple of simple questions that are not addressed in your piece.

 

First, how could or would a prosecutor be able to prove diversion to a source not allowed under the law? As they have no way of knowing how much or how little each individual is needing to alleviate their conditions. I would also point out that if a patient requires their medication in other than smokable form that a LOT more marijuana will be consumed just in the making of the oils or edibles. For example to make just 2 liquid ounces of some topical oils, you need close to a pound of marijuana...

 

Second, how would a prosecutor know what agreement exists between the patient and caregiver, concerning costs or payments? It is quite possible that the patient is paying all of the utilities, or paying $2000 an ounce, or just a flat rate... those agreements are private, and will vary as much as individuals vary across the state. Any of those agreements could be reasonable depending on the individuals involved.

 

Finally, why would anybody want to breach the magical barrier of 99 plants set by the Fed guidelines? The risk vs reward doesn't seem to be a logical calculation. The federal guidelines are very harsh on cultivators, in comparison to possession of harvested and cured marijuana. One can possess 108 pounds of marijuana and would be at a lower penalty than possessing 50 plants, or 218 pounds and be at less than the penalty for 100 plants...

 

Just a side note, technically your hypothetical 3 caregivers, could grow 216 plants; if they were also patients each could grow 72. ;)

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You spent a good deal of time putting this together but where do you get this "reasonable compensation" notion? The law says a caregiver can get "compensation for cost.". Maybe I pay $100 per oz to have my meds trimmed for my patients. This is added to my other costs of assisting my patients with medical use of marijuana.

 

 

One thing that seems to escape care givers is the financial aspect of their operation.

 

It is easy to imagine a false sense of security based on being within your plant count and weight limit. Because let's face it; it is easy to get rid of product as you harvest and it is easy to grow enough to divert. The wiggle room provided by the MMMA can provide a lot of incentive to try to exploit your situation.

 

Here is something else you must consider. What you are doing has financial realities and prosecutors know this. If you consider the "reasonable compensation" part of the law it is easy to come up with a maximum gross from what you produce. Given this, your expenses must be below the gross.

 

For example. Suppose you and two other caregivers purchase a house for growing. The house was $90,000 and could be rented for $700 per month. Instead of renting, you grow 180 plants which is your limit. You have 5 patients each with a total of 15. If they use $300 per moth in product, that comes to $4,500 per month. Now, if you spend $1000 per month in utilities, $1000 per month mortgage and an additional $300 for supplies, $100 per month in property tax, etc. That comes to an expense of $2,400 per month. Now add to that the $1000 you could be getting for rent and you are at a net expense of $3,400 per month.

 

Now, we have a net profit of $1,100 max divided three ways. So, you end up with $350 per month for all of your hard work.

 

Now clearly, this could be accomplished. But the question is whether or not a judge or jury would likely believe that your intentions are only to provide for your patients and not to divert product. Going to all the trouble of buying a dedicated grow house project involving 3 guys in order to each net $350 per month is going to be a tough sell.

 

Likewise, you can not buy a building and rent out $1,500 grow rooms to a guy who can legally only gross $1,500. Again, the numbers don't makes sense unless product is being diverted - then it makes lots of sense.

 

The same goes for free meds. If you are supplying only your 5 people but are providing all the free meds they can smoke, who is compensating you? The only obvious answer is that you are using the MMMA as a cover for diverting product. That is kind of a no brainer. And no, the argument that you are just a great guy and come out of pocket just to be nice isn't going to fly.

 

In the end, you want to understand that prosecutors are not idiots and that it is easy to accidentally convict your self by not keeping an eye on the reasonable nature of your financial realities. If you already have space you simply are not using and can show that your expenses are reasonable you are golden. But if the numbers don't add up, neither will your story.

 

That is after all how the busted Al Capone.

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I like this .. (not)

 

If you're growing 12 plants you must be diverting.

 

Someone else uses that "one pound" per plant stuff .. I've never been able to get one pound off a single plant.

 

And I've grown hundreds of plants over the last five years. Never a whole pound .. not once.

 

The only people that claim one pound per plant are those who have never grown.

 

I'd suggest everyone be very careful what they post to this thread.

 

It seems to be based on leo talk.

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Any and all cases that are brought will be argued individually, and few to none of the PAs in this state have the political will to enforce the law as you are describing it against 55,000 otherwise law-abiding people.

 

If they try the voters will make their will known again in 2012.

 

You are using our site to spread fear and misinformation, and I don't appreciate it. Again, do you have legal credentials to support your view of the law? Why should we even allow you to continue to post like this?

 

You seem to have some type of legal knowledge. If you could be open about the fact that you are a prosecutor or represent them I think the community would welcome your input. Without that, you are just an anonymous person spreading a very unpopular interpretation of the law that is only held openly, to my knowledge, by prosecutors and law enforcement who are desperately trying to hold onto an illegitimate revenue stream.

DITO

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The purpose of this thread is to educate people on what they could potentially be up against. I'm sure many would just rather hear a lot of stoner talk and childish rants about how unfair "the man" is and how the cops can't do this and can't do that and how we should just say F you to the cops because we don't like authority and we are all too slick for them. We all know, there are enough of those threads to go around. If anyone is that small minded that that type of conversation is all they can tolerate, I'm sure you can find a thread more to your liking.

 

For those who wish to contemplate things on an adult level and who have something to lose in life, this is a valid issue.

 

Getting back on topic. The thing to remember is that the cops can always make an accusation. Once they do, it is going to be on you to show that you are operating within the law. And a lot of times this is expensive as hell and quite risky. And if you are in the unfortunate situation of having to go to trial, your argument is going to need to be convincing. You can't go in there thinking you are going to play the judge for a fool. That would be a bad idea.

 

Now, posting on the internet or on Craig's list or something similar is a huge red flag. If you are going to do something like this, there is a high likelihood you will be meeting a detective soon.

 

So, let's look at one situation in depth. Suppose you advertise on Craig's List a free OZ of meds each month for signing up. If you do this, the obvious question is where the money is coming from to support your operation. Do you plan on saying that you expect your patients to buy more than 1OZ per month? If you say that, you are incriminating your self in another way. See, the judge is going to think that 4OZ per month is obviously not all for personal use. And the prosecutor is going to argue that if your patient is taking this much that you have reasonable knowledge that the patient is reselling it. Given that, you are guilty of trafficking.

 

If the patient is only taking the 1 free OZ, then you must be diverting product because obviously the money needs to come from somewhere. And no, you can not argue that you grow at a loss as a matter of philanthropy.

 

Here is the answer:

 

Don't assume that you are slick and that law enforcement is stupid. We all know there is some wiggle room in the whole MMJ deal and as long as you fly below the radar and don't leave a trail of red flags you should be fine. In the end, you should be not be thinking about how you might be able to wiggle out of a prosecution, but about ways to cover your behind that are reasonable.

 

In the end, a reasonable, believable story will keep you out of the slammer. Acting like a rebellious teenager who thinks he can flaunt the law and toss it in people's face is not wise. It doesn't take a genius to do some simple accounting and see if your story adds up or if it sounds like a load of bunk. If it looks like bunk, you need to come up with a better plan. It is important to seem legit, not like a dip**** trying to be slick and fool the cops.

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I must say that your post is well written and does bring up some interesting things to keep in mind, I commend you on the effort put into it.

 

That being said, I must ask a couple of simple questions that are not addressed in your piece.

 

First, how could or would a prosecutor be able to prove diversion to a source not allowed under the law? As they have no way of knowing how much or how little each individual is needing to alleviate their conditions. I would also point out that if a patient requires their medication in other than smokable form that a LOT more marijuana will be consumed just in the making of the oils or edibles. For example to make just 2 liquid ounces of some topical oils, you need close to a pound of marijuana...

 

Second, how would a prosecutor know what agreement exists between the patient and caregiver, concerning costs or payments? It is quite possible that the patient is paying all of the utilities, or paying $2000 an ounce, or just a flat rate... those agreements are private, and will vary as much as individuals vary across the state. Any of those agreements could be reasonable depending on the individuals involved.

 

Finally, why would anybody want to breach the magical barrier of 99 plants set by the Fed guidelines? The risk vs reward doesn't seem to be a logical calculation. The federal guidelines are very harsh on cultivators, in comparison to possession of harvested and cured marijuana. One can possess 108 pounds of marijuana and would be at a lower penalty than possessing 50 plants, or 218 pounds and be at less than the penalty for 100 plants...

 

Just a side note, technically your hypothetical 3 caregivers, could grow 216 plants; if they were also patients each could grow 72. ;)

 

 

These are good points. The key is that the law allows "reasonable compensation." Unfortunately, all of your questions would be up to a judge and jury to decide whether or not your figures are reasonable. That is my whole point. If all the facts of your case was sitting on a prosecutors desk, would you want him to believe that your operation is clearly within the guidelines of the MMMA, or would you want to have to provide answers as to why it looks like you are trafficking? If you do need to argue your case, do you want to have all of your figures add up or do you want unexplained discrepancies? Do you want to argue that your patient needs 3 oz of 90% pure THC honey oil each week or do you want to argue that you produce about 1OZ per month for your people in your spare room in the basement? It's about what a jury is going to believe is reasonable.

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Cheliose-

 

Ya bring up some good points. :goodjob:

 

As I have a feeling there are people pushing their limits (ON THIS SITE)... AND putting them Red Flags out there for public consumption.

 

"ME" think.... If you stay safely within your limits you should be fine... & honestly as a caregiver--I DO NOT WANT A PATIENT who needs more than 2oz per month-

 

I think if you smoke more than 1oz of fine quality med/herbs your either on your "death bed" or your "ADDICTED/ABUSIVE".--- ***AND I DO NOT WANT TO SUPPORT A CONFUSED ADDICT***

 

Those folks whop need 3-4 oz a month, REALLY???... THAT SEEMS REAL FISHY & PERHAPS THERE'S AN ILLEGAL TRAFFICKING CONNECTION???... PERHAPS? :devil:

 

Taking advantage of caregivers with good LEGAL intentions IS WRONG :growl: :growl: ... I SAY NO THANKS TO THOSE PATIENTS WITH THOSE high consumption NEEDS.

 

Be well, :skydive:

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This bears repeating often. Always account for your income! The Al Capone analogy is right on.

 

The IRS will consider it a business. Talk to a CPA/Tax Lawyer. Pay your income tax.

 

For those giving it away, you need to be able to justify the non profit operation because the IRS won't understand and will assume you are for profit and their estimates of your income will be the maximum.

 

12 plants at a pound per plant times $25 a gram 4 times a year and so on.

 

The actual question of taxes is a sticky issue and I don't know the answer. How do you pay federal income tax on something that is illegal on a federal level? Especially when you can't say where the money came from.

 

No, I would just take my small compensation and use it as pocket money letting sleeping dogs lie. Now, if you are unemployed and go out and buy a ZR-1 Corvette, you might have some splaining to do. That's another thing people don't think of. If you have cars and boats and a million dollar house while working at Walmart stocking shelves you might just incriminate your self.

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Here guys. This is an interesting link. There might even be some similarities to what certain people are doing now compared to the times mentioned here. Funny thing is that the professor in that article presented this prior to any type of medical marijuana laws were passed. His passion came from the truth and not having any fear of change (aka progress).

 

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/history/whiteb1.htm

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Cheliose-

 

Ya bring up some good points. :goodjob:

 

As I have a feeling there are people pushing their limits (ON THIS SITE)... AND putting them Red Flags out there for public consumption.

 

"ME" think.... If you stay safely within your limits you should be fine... & honestly as a caregiver--I DO NOT WANT A PATIENT who needs more than 2oz per month-

 

I think if you smoke more than 1oz of fine quality med/herbs your either on your "death bed" or your "ADDICTED/ABUSIVE".--- ***AND I DO NOT WANT TO SUPPORT A CONFUSED ADDICT***

 

Those folks whop need 3-4 oz a month, REALLY???... THAT SEEMS REAL FISHY & PERHAPS THERE'S AN ILLEGAL TRAFFICKING CONNECTION???... PERHAPS? :devil:

 

Taking advantage of caregivers with good LEGAL intentions IS WRONG :growl: :growl: ... I SAY NO THANKS TO THOSE PATIENTS WITH THOSE high consumption NEEDS.

 

Be well, :skydive:

 

 

I'm glad someone gets it.

 

Actually, there is a concept in law known as constructive knowledge. In other words, if it is reasonable to assume that you know or should know something, it is proof that you know. If a patient needs an OZ per week, you have constructive knowledge that he is selling it and you could be charged on those grounds.

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Because let's face it; it is easy to get rid of product as you harvest and it is easy to grow enough to divert. The wiggle room provided by the MMMA can provide a lot of incentive to try to exploit your situation.

 

 

 

 

NOBODY should be posting anything about diverting meds in any context that is NOT something we need law enforcement to see they might believe we all have that mindset. :thumbsd:

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Uh, NO. Police have to prove that you are not operating within the law. BIG difference.

Not true law enforcement are disrupting the sick and dyings lives by raiding their homes and forcing US to prove we are within the law at the costs of them thousands of dollars and even more from the loss of their plants and medicine and cars and homes loss to forfeitures .

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If you wish a serious discussion of these pertinent issues, I am willing to engage in it. However, discussion requires a back and forth of questioning and answering, from both sides.

 

So let us start simply with the strictest interpretations, 12 plants per patient and a cumulative 5 ounces (2.5 each patient and caregiver). In order to stay within those constraints, a caregiver needs to schedule their harvests to meet the patient's needs, and not go over the statutory limits. In doing this they may only have 1 or 2 plants being harvested per month, or as many as 3 to 4. There is no way to legally harvest 12 plants per month with just one patient, as a minimum flowering time is around 6 weeks, then one must add in the vegetative grow time, drying and proper curing and you are looking at 10 or more weeks for a quick bloomer. That is why any reasonable and intelligent cultivator uses a perpetual grow schedule, staggering harvests to meet the demand of their patient. Even with good planning there is likely to be some overages, as a smart grower will have a bit of insurance built into their projected harvests.

 

The question becomes what to do with such overages, and the answer is rather simple, one can either destroy good medicine, donate it, or sell it to another qualified individual (as allowed under the law), and thus help offset the costs to their own patient(s), possibly making a bit of money for the time invested.

 

You mention that all that needs to be made is an accusation, while some in law enforcement do wish to ignore the "shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution..." parts of the law, I assure you that many prosecutors are and will be becoming aware of where the burden lies for proving that such conduct was not related to assisting a patient with the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

 

In another topic you mention the Affirmative Defense, and yet seem unaware of what it says or requires... It is pretty simple and written in plain language, and can be summed up as three prongs.

  • A doctor has made the recommendation.
  • Quantity that is reasonably necessary to ensure uninterrupted supply.
  • The patient and the patient's primary caregiver, if any, were engaged in the acquisition, possession, cultivation, manufacture, use, delivery, transfer, or transportation of marihuana or paraphernalia relating to the use of marihuana

 

IF those 3 prongs are shown the charges shall be dismissed following an evidentiary hearing where the person shows the elements listed. The prosecutor will do the work of proving the last 2 prongs, and the first is rather simple, especially for a registry card holder...

 

Now, I will concede that if somebody is going out and raising numerous red flags, they may be dragged further down the path in the courts... That doesn't change what the law says, and or requires.

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I'm glad someone gets it.

 

Actually, there is a concept in law known as constructive knowledge. In other words, if it is reasonable to assume that you know or should know something, it is proof that you know. If a patient needs an OZ per week, you have constructive knowledge that he is selling it and you could be charged on those grounds.

Does anyone have an opinion on this? I don't remember seeing those words or term in the MM Law. Can anyone elaborate on this?

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I'm glad someone gets it.

 

Actually, there is a concept in law known as constructive knowledge. In other words, if it is reasonable to assume that you know or should know something, it is proof that you know. If a patient needs an OZ per week, you have constructive knowledge that he is selling it and you could be charged on those grounds.

Glad you are finally letting your legal experience show a bit more. At least now we can stop pretending.... BTW, I am still awaiting your proffer of case law showing your position to be correct in the other thread.

 

One should also realize that a single batch of medibles (less than a week's worth) can consume over an ounce. Or a bottle of topical oil can require in the neighborhood of a pound, and only yield 2 ounces.

 

Perhaps, some folks making recommendations on quantities or what is reasonable should learn about the various uses of marijuana. Suggesting that somebody is diverting their medication because they are using a larger quantity, is ignorant at best, and draconian at worst.

 

I do hope these are not the types of recommendations you are making to those that you work with. Folks around here would be glad to sit down and discuss these things, so that informed decisions could start to be made by both sides of the issue.

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