Making sense of Minnesota's marijuana laws

Minnesota legalized medical marijuana in 2014. In February 2017, bills to legalize recreational use of the drug started making their way through the Minnesota Legislature. The state has also decriminalized certain instances of possession. With changing attitudes and laws regarding marijuana, it can be difficult to understand exactly what the law says.

If you have questions about laws and punishments about marijuana in Minnesota, you are not alone. Continue reading for a quick guide regarding the criminality of marijuana in this state.

Medical marijuana restrictions

Although the state legalized medical marijuana, it is only prescribed under strong restrictions. Medical marijuana is only offered in pill and oil form. There is no smokeable form for medicinal use. There are a few qualifying conditions for receiving medical cannabis, including HIV, AIDS, intractable pain and certain types of cancer. 

 

Possession decriminalization

Despite the fact that legalization is unlikely in the near future, possession has been decriminalized to a certain degree. Possessing 42.5 grams or less is now a petty misdemeanor with a $200 fine and no incarceration. In this sense, it is similar in treatment to a traffic violation.

Felony charges

If you get caught possessing more than 42.5 grams of cannabis, you face felony charges with maximum punishments being a $5,000 fine and five years of incarceration. The penalties get more severe for those who possess or sell more. The most serious crime is selling over 50 kilograms with a maximum 30-year sentence and a $500,000 fine.

As you can tell, the way Minnesota treats marijuana is not very straightforward or simplistic. However, it is important for everyone to understand that, despite certain changes in medicinal use and decriminalization, it is still illegal to possess the drug. There is no reason to assume police will treat marijuana as a non-offense. If you face any drug charges, consult with a defense attorney.

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