What You Need to Know About Minnesota’s Marijuana Laws

Although certain states have legalized marijuana use for medicinal purposes – and in some states, recreational purposes – Minnesota law still considers marijuana to be a “controlled substance” that is prohibited by law. A bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers is working to pass legislation that would provide for a regulated medical marijuana program in Minnesota, however, with discussion about the proposed legislation expected when the Minnesota Legislature returns to session this month.

In addition, to prohibitions on marijuana, Minnesota prohibits possessing, manufacturing, trafficking, buying, selling or distributing a number of other illegal controlled substance such as cocaine, heroin, and prescription drugs that are not prescribed to the user and simulated drugs.

Penalties for Marijuana Drug Crimes in Minnesota

The penalties for a possession of a small amount (less than 42.5 grams) of marijuana is a fine of up to $200 and possible requirement of drug education. Possession of 42.5 grams or more of marijuana is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Possession of 10 kilograms or more of marijuana increases the penalty to a fine up to $250,000 and up to 20 years in prison. Possession of 50 kilograms or more is punishable by up to 25 years in prison and a fine up to $500,000. For any possession of 100 kilograms or more, the penalty is up to 30 years in prison and a fine up to $1,000,000.

Possession of more than 1.4 grams of marijuana in a motor vehicle (except in the trunk) is punishable by up to one year in prison.

Penalties for a conviction of other Minnesota drug crimes range depending on the type and quantity of the illegal controlled substance involve. The range of penalties is as follows:

  • First degree drug possession: punishable by up to $1 million in fines and 30 years in prison
  • Second degree drug possession: punishable by up to $500,000 in fines and 25 years in prison
  • Third degree drug possession: punishable by up to $250,000 in fines and 20 years in prison
  • Fourth degree drug possession: punishable by up to $100,000 in fines and 15 years in prison
  • Fifth degree drug possession: punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and 5 years in prison

In addition to incarceration and fines, penalties for drug crimes can also include probation, parole, random drug testing, community service, and alternative drug rehabilitation programs.

What to Do If You Are Charged with a Minnesota Drug Crime

If you are charged with a drug crime in Minnesota, it is important that you know and understand your legal rights. First and foremost, you have a right to remain silent. You do not need to answer any questions by police or prosecutors

You should promptly contact a knowledgeable Minnesota criminal defense lawyer to protect your legal rights and to help you understand your legal options. At Keller Law Offices, we will educate you on the laws, potential penalties, and your legal options so that you can make fully informed decisions and we will vigorously fight to get your charges reduced or eliminated.

If you are facing Minnesota DWI charges, get the information and legal help you need. Contact Keller Law Offices at (952) 913-1421 today to schedule a free informational consultation with our Minneapolis drug crime lawyer.

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-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. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Involve a criminal appeal attorney soon after you learn the prosecution is appealing your sentence. Your attorney will walk you through the involving and confusing sentencing guidelines. An attorney's involvement will also help you develop a defense strategy for the appeal.