Marijuana Defense

Twin Cities Area Marijuana Lawyer

Some states and cities have reformed their laws concerning marijuana, including Minnesota. Some patients could potentially be able to purchase the substance for medicinal use, beginning July 2015. The substance, however, is still considered illegal in Minnesota for those not on the patient registry.

Marijuana, also known as weed or pot, still can carry a variety of harsh penalties in Minnesota. This could include fines, time behind bars, a revoked driver’s license and a criminal record. A conviction could seem minor, but it still could affect a person’s ability to find a job or even housing. The best way to protect your future is to avoid a conviction.

Apple Valley Marijuana Defense Attorney

Being charged with a marijuana offense can feel overwhelming. However, there may are options when handling the charges. Contact Apple Valley cannabis defense lawyer James Blumberg. As a former prosecutor, he has worked on both sides of marijuana cases. He knows what it takes to fight the charges and how to invalidate the prosecution’s case.

Call (952) 431-7758 to schedule a free consultation today. James Blumberg Law represents clients throughout Dakota County, including Burnsville, Eagan, Hastings, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville, Mendota Heights and Rosemount, as well as anywhere in the Twin Cities region, including Hennepin County, Ramsey County and Anoka County.

Information About Marijuana Charges in Minnesota

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Possession of Marijuana Charges

Marijuana still is considered an illegal substance in Minnesota for those who are not in the qualified patient registry, described below. This means even possession of the substance could lead to criminal charges. The degree of the charge generally is determined by the amount of substance involved.

For instance, if a person is charged with possessing more than 100 kilograms, he or she could be charged with a first-degree felony. This would be punishable by up to 30 years in prison, up to $1 million in fines or both. When the amount of substance is decreased, the penalties would be as well.

According to Minnesota Statute 152.027, a person who possesses a small amount of marijuana would be charged with a petty misdemeanor. He or she could be required to participate in a drug education program unless the court enters a written finding that a drug education program is inappropriate.

A person could be charged with importing marijuana across state borders if he or she crosses a state or national border into Minnesota with 100 kilograms or more of marijuana in his or her possession. This would be considered a felony offense, punishable by up to 35 years in prison, up to $1.25 million in fines or both.

Possession of more than 1.4 grams of marijuana in a motor vehicle, including the utility or glove compartment, could be considered a misdemeanor, according to Minnesota Statute 152.027. However, this would not include the trunk. If charged, the offender could face having his or her driver’s license suspended for 30 days.

Another charge similar to possession of marijuana is the possession of paraphernalia. This paraphernalia could include pipes, bongs, baggies, scales, rolling papers and more. This charge, which is a misdemeanor, often is added on to possession charges. It is punishable by up to $300 in fines.

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Charges for the Sale of Cannabis

Similar to possession offenses, the charges for the sale of marijuana vary largely based on the amount of substance involved in the offense. The most severe charge for selling marijuana would be a first-degree felony, which would apply if a person is accused of selling more than 50 kilograms of marijuana.

The charges for the sale of cannabis also vary based on several other factors, including where the offense occurred. For instance, distribution within a school zone or other specified areas is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines.

Additionally, if the substance was sold to a person younger than 18 years old, the offender could face long-lasting consequences. In Minnesota, sale of marijuana to a minor is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

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First-Time Marijuana Offender Programs

First-time marijuana offenders could be eligible for an alternative to jail time and expensive fines. According to Minnesota Statute 152.18, an offender could enter a program that essentially could end in a clean record under the following circumstances:

  • The offender did not previously participate in a diversion program
  • The offender was not previously placed on probation without a judgment of guilty
  • The court determines the violation does not as a subsequent controlled substance offense

If a person qualifies, the court may place the person on probation upon whatever conditions it chooses. This could be done without the offender entering a judgment of guilty. This also would defer further proceedings.

If the offender meets all the terms of the probation and does not have a violation, the court can discharge the person and dismiss the proceedings against them at the end of the period. This means he or she could have a clean criminal record.

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Medical Marijuana in Minnesota

The Minnesota Legislature passed a measure in 2014 creating a new process that could allow seriously ill patients to use cannabis to treat certain medical conditions. Beginning in July 2015, medical cannabis will be available to those who qualify, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

The substance, however, will not be available through a pharmacy with a prescription from a doctor. Instead, patients with a qualifying condition will be able to enroll in a patient registry, which will be maintained by the state. Patients on the registry then will be able to obtain the substance from one of eight dispensaries throughout the state.

Patients in Minnesota with the following conditions could qualify for medical marijuana:

  • Cancer associated with severe or chronic pain, nausea, vomiting or cachexia
  • Glaucoma
  • Tourette’s Syndrome
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms , such as those with multiple sclerosis
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Terminal illness with a life expectancy of less than one year

According to the law, medical cannabis will be provided to patients as a liquid, pill or vaporized delivery method that does not require the use of dried leaves or plant form.

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Additional Resources for Marijuana Charges

Minnesota Department of Health — Learn more information about the changes in Minnesota’s medical marijuana laws and how the program will work. This provides information for patients, caregivers and health care providers. Contact the Department of Health at (651) 201-5598.

Marijuana Policy Project — The Marijuana Policy Project is a Minnesota organization dedicated to increasing public support for non-punitive, non-coercive marijuana policies. The group, founded in 1995, is focused on gaining support in Congress and changing marijuana laws to reduce or eliminate penalties associated with the substance.

Minnesota NORML — NORML is a nationwide organization that supports the development of a legally controlled market for marijuana, where consumers could purchase it from a safe, legal and regulated source. The Minnesota chapter is adamant about changing marijuana laws in The North Star State.

Minnesota Prevention Resource Center — The Minnesota Prevention Resource Center is an organization with a mission to reduce problems resulting from alcohol, tobacco and other drugs by enhancing the capacity of people interested in preventing these problems.

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James Blumberg Law – A Cannabis Defense Lawyer in Dakota County

If you have been charged with a cannabis-related crime in Minnesota, contact Apple Valley marijuana defense attorney James Blumberg. James can work with you one-on-one to ensure your rights are represented and your freedom is protected. Your case will be treated with the utmost importance. Call (952) 431-7758 to schedule a free consultation. We accept clients throughout Dakota County and surrounding areas including Steele County, Rice County, Dodge County, Carver County, Olmsted County, Scott County, and Sibley County.