Recent years have seen a lot of changes in both policies and public opinion regarding marijuana here in the U.S. Given this, one might wonder if Minnesota has seen any notable shifts in how common it is for people to face arrest and major consequences in relation to pot over this time. Statistics cited in a Star Tribune article from earlier this year shed some light on this.
According to this data, after a long period of flat rates, Minnesota saw a big drop in marijuana arrests after 2014. Since then, arrests have been staying at a relatively lower level. As an example, in 2017, there were over 2,000 fewer pot-related arrests than was the case in 2014.
However, marijuana conviction levels have not seen a similar trend of decreases. Rather, pot convictions have held fairly steady in the period going from 2014 forward. And felony convictions have seen a gradual increase over this time.
Why do you think convictions have held relatively steady while arrests have gone down?
As this illustrates, despite falling pot arrests, there remain plenty of people who end up facing significant consequences in connection to accusations of marijuana crimes in the state. The penalties for marijuana convictions can vary greatly based on a range of factors, including the specific crime alleged and the amount of the drug involved.
When facing pot allegations, it is important for individuals here in Minnesota to understand their options for protecting their future. Promptly meeting with a skilled criminal defense lawyer can be a critical step in this regard.