drug laws

The Moral Peril of Minnesota Asset Forfeiture Laws

Let’s review:

The government (police) can take your property at any time if suspicious, even if you are innocent.
The burden is on you, not them, to do something about getting a court to look at it.
If you do nothing, they keep your property, your money; and you lose; without any court or judge ever even seeing the case.
If you want to do something about it, you need cash for a lawyer and court filing fees. The law provides the government a free lawyer and requires them to pay no court filing fees.
The police agency that targeted you and took you down gets to keep 70% commission on the cash, valuables, your vehicle they seize from you. Could this affect their honesty about their investigation; or, the appearance of propriety?

Bde-Maka-Ska-water

Minnesota Court Waters Down Definition of Illegal Drugs

The Minnesota Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, has now ruled that Bong Water (water which had been used in a water pipe) was a “mixture” of “25 grams or more” supporting a criminal conviction for Controlled Substance crime in the first degree. The crime is the most serious felony drug crime in Minnesota, with a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison for a first offense. The case is Minnesota v Peck, A08-579, Minnesota Supreme Court, October 22, 2009.

The majority opinion takes a literal view, arguing in essence that any amount of a substance dissolved in water makes that water a “mixture” containing that substance. Perhaps. But, since Minnesota’s criminal prohibition laws are organized to make greater quantities of drug possession a more serious crime than smaller quantities, such a simple-minded view defeats the purpose of the quantity-based severity levels.