Will Minnesota decriminalize marijuana?

There has been talk in a few cities across the country about partially decriminalizing marijuana for recreational use in an attempt to reduce the number of young adults getting criminal records. Even for something as little as misdemeanor marijuana possession charges, a Minneapolis man or woman could face serious problems. He or she may have to pay a large fine or spend time in jail; regardless of what the punishment is, he or she will now have a criminal record.

With the current status of the economy it is important to not have anything in your background that would prevent you from getting a job and a misdemeanor drug charge may make it extremely difficult to land a job. Criminal records can also affect the ability to find housing or to get into some schools. It is for this reason, among others, that a few states and cities have considered decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana.

In one proposal, a governor has asked that someone found in possession of less than 25 grams of marijuana only be forced to pay a $100 fine. Though other officials across the country have issued their support on the issue, it is unknown whether any laws will actually be changed. In fact, in one location, they are concerned that federal officials will be upset that the city’s law is so different from the federal drug regulations.

Does this have a chance of passing in Minnesota? It is unclear, but the idea of preventing the large number of young adults getting a criminal record is something many people can get behind.

Source: The Washington Post, “Marijuana decriminalization unlikely in D.C., officials say,” Tim Craig, June 5, 2012

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

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

Confidential informants may provide integral information to help build criminal investigations, but how reliable is that information when they are receiving payment for their services? To protect them, state law requires the identity of informants be kept confidential. For those facing criminal charges, however, this creates challenges in questioning the accuracy and validity of the information given at trial.
Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.