What kind of charges would I be looking at if I’m living with my parents and they’re growing marijuana?

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What kind of charges would I be looking at if I’m living with my parents and they’re growing marijuana?

I’m currently living in a state where they have very limited medical cannabis laws. It is still not only illegal in my state but I’ve been told that my state has some of the strictest marijuana laws in the country. They aren’t growing inside the home but in the garage. They are growing roughly 500-700 plants so there’s no way to say it was for personal use. There are also other family members such as my grandfather who lives with us and the home in

his name. I’m concerned that if we had issues they may be able to take the house as well as press charges against him.

Asked on September 21, 2018 under Criminal Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) Legally, you can't be charged simply because you live with people who break the law; you have to yourself break the law to face criminal liability. Practically, if you live with them and there are grounds or evidence to think that you are in *any* way helping them--e.g. even buying supplies that they use for the growing; helping change  a grow light or patch a hole in a roof or window where they grow it; etc.--you could end up being charged. The police and courts do not know of a certainty who is doing what; they only know what the evidence suggests, so any evidence that you are participating and you could be charged.
2) Yes, the home could potentially be seized. The federal government and also many states (e.g NY and NJ) have laws allowing property used to commit criminal acts to be seized by the authorties, even if the property is not owned by the criminal---all that is necessary is that the owner allowed the criminal to occupy and use the property.
Your grandfather should require your parents stop doing this and evict them if they won't. If your grandfather will not do this, you should, assuming you are legally an adult, look into moving out.


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