State v. Griffith

Decision Date02 June 1995
Docket NumberNo. 21112,21112
Citation127 Idaho 8,896 P.2d 334
PartiesSTATE of Idaho, Plaintiff-Respondent, Cross-Appellant, v. Gary GRIFFITH, Defendant-Appellant, Cross-Respondent. Twin Falls, March 1995 Term
CourtIdaho Supreme Court

Alan Lance, Idaho Atty. Gen.; Myrna A.I. Stahman, Deputy Atty. Gen., Boise, for cross-appellant. Myrna A.I. Stahman argued.

Fuller & Williams, Twin Falls, for cross-respondent. Timothy J. Williams argued.

TROUT, Justice.

This is a drug trafficking and manufacturing case. The defendant, Gary Griffith (Griffith), initially sought review of two adverse evidentiary rulings. The State then cross-appealed the district court's grant of Griffith's motion to dismiss the jury verdicts which found Griffith guilty of manufacturing a controlled substance and manufacturing a controlled substance in the presence of children. Prior to oral argument, Griffith withdrew his appeal and argument was heard solely on the State's cross-appeal.

I. FACTUAL SUMMARY

The Twin Falls police were called to the Griffith home after Griffith's wife, Bonnie, reported she had been battered by Griffith. The police arrested Griffith, whereupon he became angry and insisted that the police accompany him into the house. Griffith then showed them marijuana plants which were growing in the kitchen. He claimed these plants were grown by Bonnie while he was away in California. He also showed the officers marijuana seeds hidden in a waterbed. The police charged Griffith with manufacturing a controlled substance, manufacturing a controlled substance while children were The case went to trial, and the jury found Griffith guilty of all charges except battery. After trial Griffith brought a motion for judgment of acquittal, pursuant to I.C.R. 29(c). The trial court concluded that there was no evidence to support the charges of manufacturing a controlled substance or manufacturing a controlled substance in the presence of a child and, therefore, entered a judgment of acquittal on those two counts.

[127 Idaho 10] present, trafficking in marijuana, failure to affix a tax stamp, and battery.

Originally, this case was appealed by Griffith, who contended that the trial court committed error in allowing the police officers to testify and identify the plants and seeds as marijuana, and also that the trial court erred in permitting testimony about the total number of marijuana plants. Prior to oral argument, Griffith withdrew his appeal and the sole issue now under review is the State's cross-appeal from the grant of the motion for judgment of acquittal.

II. ANALYSIS
A. Interpretation of the manufacturing statutes

A determination of whether the trial court correctly granted the motion to dismiss the jury verdicts requires us first to interpret the manufacturing statutes at I.C. §§ 37-2732, -2737A. When we review the trial court's interpretation of a statute, we exercise free review. O'Loughlin v. Circle A Const., 112 Idaho 1048, 1051, 739 P.2d 347, 350 (1987).

Griffith argues that the manufacturing statutes contain an exception from prosecution under these statutes if the marijuana is being grown for personal use. The statutory definition of "manufacture" does contain an exception for personal use: "except that this term [manufacture] does not include the preparation or compounding of a controlled substance by an individual for his own use...." I.C. § 37-2701(r). (emphasis added).

The trial court concluded that this personal use exception was unclear and stated that it appeared that the legislature intended the personal use exception to encompass the growing of marijuana for one's own use. On appeal, Griffith asserts that the terms "preparation" and "compounding" which are activities that are exempt from punishment under the manufacturing statutes, should be interpreted broadly to include growing marijuana. Quite the contrary, we find that the statutes and definitions contained in the Uniform Controlled Substances Act are exceedingly clear and they do not contain the personal use exception urged by Griffith.

We begin our interpretation of the manufacturing statutes by reviewing the definition of "manufacture." The definition of "manufacture" includes all activities which the legislature determined were part of manufacturing, and these activities are prohibited unless included within the exception discussed above. These prohibited activities include:

"Manufacture" means the production, preparation, propagation, compounding, conversion or processing of a controlled substance, and includes extraction, directly or indirectly, from substances of natural origin, or independently by means of chemical synthesis, or by a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis, and includes any packaging or repackaging of the substance or labeling or relabeling of its container....

I.C. § 37-2701(r).

Interestingly, the word "growing" is not found specifically within this definition. However, the term "production," which is included in the definition of "manufacture," is defined by the Act as follows: "production includes the manufacture, planting, cultivation, growing, or harvesting of a controlled substance." I.C. § 37-2701(aa). (emphasis added). Thus, the legislature has included the "growing" of a controlled substance, although it is found indirectly within the definition of "production." More importantly for the purposes of the issue presented by this appeal, "growing" is included within the definition of "production" as opposed to "preparation" or "compounding." It would make no sense for the legislature to have specifically placed the growing of a controlled substance

                [127 Idaho 11] within the definition of "production" had it intended to define either "preparation" or "compounding" as growing a controlled substance.  We have previously held that "[t]his Court is required to give effect to [every] word, clause and sentence of a
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6 cases
  • State v. Hoyle
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • July 21, 2004
    ...there is some evidence of guilt produced at trial." State of Idaho v. Hoyle, 2003 Opinion No. 19 at 10; (quoting State v. Griffith, 127 Idaho 8, 11, 896 P.2d 334, 337 (1995)). Hoyle contends that the proper standard is whether there is substantial evidence upon which any rational trier of f......
  • State v. Shanks
    • United States
    • Idaho Court of Appeals
    • July 16, 2003
    ...University of Utah Hospital and Medical Center v. Bethke, 101 Idaho 245, 248, 611 P.2d 1030, 1033 (1980). See also State v. Griffith, 127 Idaho 8, 11, 896 P.2d 334, 337 (1995). We find significant the legislature's use of the word, "such," in the phrase "outside the walls of such correction......
  • State v. Cheatham
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • June 29, 2000
    ...acquittal, we examine the record for sufficiency of the evidence supporting the trial court's determination. See State v. Griffith, 127 Idaho 8, 11, 896 P.2d 334, 337 (1995). We independently review the record to determine if there is no evidence upon which a guilty verdict could be based. ......
  • State v. Morgan
    • United States
    • Idaho Court of Appeals
    • May 15, 2000
    ...for acquittal should only be granted where there is no evidence produced at trial to support the conviction. State v. Griffith, 127 Idaho 8, 11, 896 P.2d 334, 337 (1995). Where a trial court's findings of fact are supported by substantial and competent evidence upon which a reasonable trier......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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