Marijuana Derivatives and Minnesota’s Incomplete Decriminalization Law
Marijuana law is becoming increasingly complicated with each passing day. Currently in Minnesota, medical marijuana is legal as is the use of CBD oil that does not possess the THC to get people high while still allowing them to reap the medical benefits. This wasn’t so just a few short years ago, showing how cannabis law is a constantly evolving area in each and every state. However, like many other states, Minnesota also has a few select frustrations when it comes to marijuana and the law.
The Incomplete Decriminalization of Marijuana in Minnesota
Decriminalization of marijuana in Minnesota started in 1976 where it was deemed by the state that possessing a small amount of the plant-based drug, more specifically 1.5 ounces or 42.5 grams, was a civil misdemeanor instead of an actual crime. This is pretty good news, but unfortunately the law in this regard has not budged since the 1970s. While it has just recently started to evolve again in Minnesota, it failed to keep up with the evolution of marijuana products. Namely, it has been a major let down for marijuana derivatives.
Marijuana derivatives include:
- Hash – Concentrated resin ball made from kief
- Hash Oil – Resin extracted via solvent
- Wax – A THC wax used by exposing the plant to butane
- Kief – A powder sifted from flowers and leaves
- Tinctures – Concoctions that use alcohol to extract cannabinoids from the plants
- Edibles – Brownies, suckers, or any food that has THC present
The possession of all of the above, even just trace amounts, will still count as a felony under Minnesota law simply because of the wording used in definition of marijuana in Minnesota Statute 152.01. This statute states you can have just a small amount of the plant-form Minnesota and face misdemeanor-level punishments as outlined by Minnesota Statute 152.027, Subdivision 4, despite the fact that you can’t even legally smoke plant-based medical marijuana. However, because the definition of marijuana in Statute 152.01 specifically excludes derivatives, even if you even have a tiny amount of a derivative, you will face much harsher felony punishments. The only exception to derivative punishments currently is CBD oil as it does not possess THC.
Punishments for Marijuana Derivative Possession
If you were arrested for plant-based marijuana possession, anything over 42.5 grams is still a felony and will face steep punishments depending on how much was in your possession. You may also face charges for intent to sell a well. It functions the same way for derivatives, which is often unfair as obviously an edible will be of more grams in weight than a single joint. However, unless you posses a large amount of derivative, typically you will not need to worry about steeper punishments.
Punishments for possession of less than 10 kilograms of derivative will feature a fine of $10,000 and up to five years in jail. As many derivatives often fall into this category, unless you possess a significant amount, this will be the standard punishment. As a felony charge, you will also have that felony attached to your permanent record that can affect your ability to gain employment or housing after the punishment for possession is completed.
Fighting Incomplete Decriminalization
Until Minnesota drug law makes efforts to continue to evolve, the only thing you can do when facing felony charges for derivatives is to fight them. As this area of marijuana law is so cruelly unfair, you need to move swiftly once an arrest has been made. Your lawyer will consider factors that may throw out the arrest or pursue defense strategies to help negate the possession charge in question. However, because the punishments are so harsh, your defense needs to begin as soon as possible.
If you were arrested for possession of marijuana or any of their derivatives in the Minneapolis area, then contact us today. Let Judith A. Samson and her team work in your defense to help you escape the harsh felony punishments that come with possession of marijuana.
Please contact our attorney for the most up to date information regarding the current laws. This article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.