The Minnesota State Senate and State House now have a Bill pending to amend the Minnesota Controlled Substances Act to add various drugs and substances to the various Schedules. This is a perfect opportunity for us to urge the Minnesota Senate and Minnesota House to amend that Bill to either deschedule marijuana, or at least move it down to Schedule 2.
Trial by jury limits the power of the government to enforce laws in ways that violate the conscience of the community. Yet when a chronic pain patient using marijuana as medicine is charged with a marijuana crime, but is not permitted to have their physician testify, or to testify about it themselves; there is no meaningful jury trial. When the court prevents the jury from hearing defense evidence, excluding the defense, her right to present a defense is violated.
Minnesota should restore the rights of the individual and of the jury, by passing a law guaranteeing the right to a medical necessity defense for medical marijuana patients charged with marijuana crimes in Minnesota. This history and background shows why the Bill currently in the Minnesota legislature should be adopted into law.
Though a small amount of marijuana in its plant form is decriminalized; any amount – even a small amount – of hashish, hash oil, cannabis wax, or a similar “resinous form of marijuana” can be charged as a felony crime under current Minnesota law. There is no rational basis to treat a person with the resinous form as a felon, while a person with the plant-form is not a criminal at all. The law should be updated to reflect current Minnesota public policy favoring the resinious form of marijuana, by treating small amounts of all forms of marijuana the same.