Giancola-Durkin, P.A.

Will Minnesota relax its strict marijuana laws?

Across the United States, laws surrounding marijuana are becoming more accepting. Some states are decriminalizing the drug, while others have made the recreational sale or use of marijuana completely legal. Minnesota is one of many states that have legalized this substance for medical use only. Even with the legalization of medicinal use, the laws and penalties surrounding this drug are severe compared to other states.

Penalties for possession

Minnesota categorizes marijuana as a Schedule I substance. This classification is often associated with harsh penalties. If you have less than 42.5 grams, you might face a misdemeanor charge and a fine of $200. It is possible to avoid a conviction if you complete a drug education program, though this is only available for first-time offenders.

You could be charged with a felony if you have more than 42.5 grams of the substance. Additionally, you could be sentenced to five years in jail and have fines ranging up to $10,000. The consequences keep escalating and if you have between 10 and 50 kilograms on your person, you could face fines up to $250,000 and a jail sentence of 20 years.

Law changes could be coming soon

Currently, there is a drastic jump to a felony charge if you have more than 42.5 grams in your possession. A representative from Minnesota recently sponsored a bill that would eliminate that leap. Minnesota would reduce the penalty for having 42.5 grams or less of marijuana to a petty misdemeanor. While adjusting the consequences for having over 42.5 grams to a misdemeanor. Having between 100 and 250 grams would mean facing a gross misdemeanor and anything over 250 grams would be a felony.

Passing this bill would be a massive change for the state and could signify more changes surrounding this drug in the future.

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