Federal prosecutors to stop focusing on casual marijuana users

The attorney general recently told federal prosecutors to stop focusing on casual marijuana users in Minnesota and throughout the U.S. Instead, the attorney general told prosecutors to focus their efforts on charging individuals involved in drug cartels and other groups that sell illegal drugs to minors.

The new guidelines to focus on drug cartels and those who sell drugs to kids does not just apply to states where medical marijuana is legal. It includes Minnesota and every other state in the country.

The new guidelines by the attorney general come after he recommended getting rid of mandatory minimum sentences for low-level, nonviolent drug offenders. This recommendation was issued to help reduce the high prison population in the U.S., and to help low-level drug offenders receive treatment instead of going to prison.

States like Washington and Colorado where medical marijuana is legal still face some uncertainty of how marijuana offenses will be handled in these states. The Senate Judiciary Committee recently said they will ask the attorney general to give specifics in the future on how these states should address marijuana possession crimes for offenders who possess more than the small legalized amount.

The new guidelines for federal prosecutors to not focus on people who casually use marijuana should result in fewer people being charged with marijuana possession in Minnesota. However, local police and jurisdictions will still prosecute individuals charged with marijuana possession or other charges of possession of an illegal substance.

Possessing illegal drugs in Minnesota can result in serious charges and punishments if the defendant is found guilty. Individuals facing drug possession charges should contact a criminal defense attorney to discuss their specific case.


Source: National Public Radio, “Federal Prosecutors Told Not To Focus On Marijuana Users,” Mark Memmott, Aug. 29, 2013

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

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