Minnesota is not one of the states that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Therefore, it is important to be aware of state laws relating to marijuana possession and sale and to have the assistance of an experienced Minnesota Drug Defense Attorney if you’ve been charged with violating the law.
Every drug/controlled substance case is unique, and no one can give you exact guidance without reviewing the specifics of your circumstances. This post is intended to provide an overview of Minnesota law as it pertains to marijuana cases generally and answer some common questions people have about different aspects of the law.
What charge am I facing?
First, it is possible you have been charged with a federal crime, as marijuana is illegal under federal law as well as state law. This post focuses on state laws and penalties. However, please call the attorneys at Sieben Edmunds Miller to review your case if you have a federal marijuana charge. Our experienced attorneys can help you figure out your next steps.
There are several common types of drug charges. You may have a paraphernalia charge if it is alleged that you had any equipment used to prepare, conceal, or produce marijuana. In Minnesota, the first offense possession of paraphernalia is a petty misdemeanor penalized with up to a $300 fine. The sale of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum $1,000 fine. The other common charges of possession, sale and manufacturing (cultivation) are covered below.
Minnesota has five levels of controlled substance crimes (first through fifth degree), with the first degree being the most severe, and fifth-degree the least. Generally, the amount in weight of marijuana in one’s possession, grown, or sold is what determines the degree of the charge. Please see our previous blog on drug possession and the chart below for more information.
Minnesota Marijuana Crimes & Penalties
Source: Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission and Minnesota Statute 152
Is possession of a small amount of marijuana a crime?
Not necessarily. Under Minnesota law, possession of a small amount of marijuana (defined as 42.5 grams or less) is a petty misdemeanor. A petty misdemeanor is not a crime; it is similar to a traffic ticket. But, possession of more than 1.4 grams of marijuana in a motor vehicle (except in the trunk) is considered a misdemeanor, which is a crime punishable by up to 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. No matter what you may have been charged with, however, there are many reasons you may not want a drug charge on your record. The marijuana defense attorneys at Sieben Edmunds Miller may be able to reduce or keep such a charge off your record entirely.
What about medical marijuana? Can I use that?
Yes, if you have been authorized by a physician and certified. Minnesota is one of the states that has legalized medical marijuana. Eligible patients that have been certified by a physician and that have been diagnosed with one or more specific approved conditions may possess up to a 30-day supply of non-smokable cannabis (e.g. edibles, oils, or other preparations). Minnesota law does not permit medical marijuana license holders to grow (cultivate) their own marijuana. Legal medical marijuana must be purchased from one of eight dispensaries owned by four approved distributors.
Consult with a Minnesota Marijuana Lawyer Today
If you’ve been charged with possession or sale of marijuana, or any other controlled substance crime, you need the experienced guidance of a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney. Call the dedicated attorneys at Sieben Edmunds Miller today!