marijuana laws

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Minnesota’s Incomplete Marijuana Decriminalization – Resinous Form Exception

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.

Minnesota Court Waters Down Definition of Illegal Drugs – Bong Water

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.