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Name: People v. Bergen
Case #: B203793
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 08/22/2008

Extraction of marijuana resin from the marijuana plant by the use of butane as a solvent to produce concentrated cannabis is properly charged and punished under Health and Safety Code section 11379.6, subdivision (a), rather than the more general statute prohibiting cultivation of marijuana, Health and Safety Code section 11358, which provides for a lesser punishment. Sheriff’s deputies searched a house over which appellant had control and discovered that it was devoted to marijuana cultivation. In the garage they also found plastic tubing and cases of full bottles of butane. Resin of marijuana for concentrated cannabis can be produced by pouring butane over loosely packed marijuana. The butane acts as a solvent, draws the oils out, and then evaporates off, leaving the cannabis. Butane is flammable. The court determined that Health and Safety 11379.6, subdivision (a), properly applies where the production of cannabis is by means of chemical extraction, as was the situation here. The Legislature intended the greater punishment provided by this section, as compared to the penalty provided by the general cultivation statute, because of the potential danger the chemical extraction presented to the public in general.