Driving under the influence of marijuana is already a crime in Minnesota. That will not change when Minnesota legalizes marijuana. DUI-marijuana will still be a crime. Some fear that legalization will equate to more DUI-marijuana cases. An unstated premise of that fear is that more people will use marijuana because of legalization. This, in turn, …
What should marijuana legalization look like in Minnesota?
The issue is Liberty, not marijuana. Ending marijuana Prohibition is consistent with conservative political values. Less government means more freedom. Prohibition is a government bloat program, that destroys lives, destroys our freedom.
We the People have at least equal rights to marijuana as we do to beer and wine. The fact that marijuana is safer than beer and wine, undercuts the Prohibitionist lie that “marijuana is a dangerous drug.” Death by overdose happens with alcohol, but cannot happen with marijuana. Marijuana has no toxic dose level, unlike caffeine, aspirin and many other commonly used, legal drugs.
On September 16, 2017 the Board of Directors of Minnesota NORML elected Thomas C. Gallagher to the position of Chair of the Board. Gallagher is a Minneapolis Criminal Lawyer who twice campaigned for election as a Representative in the Minnesota House in District 61B (incumbent Paul Thissen) in 2014 and 2016. He was the endorsed candidate of Republican Party of Minnesota in both election cycles.
Will Minnesota lawmakers heed the call of the Minnesota Supreme Court and public outrage and undo the “Minnesota Bong Water Case?”
A Bill has been introduced in the Minnesota House, H.F. No. 2757, to amend Minnesota Statutes section 152.01, subdivision 9a, to read:
Subd. 9a. Mixture. “Mixture” means a preparation, compound, mixture, or substance containing a controlled substance, regardless of where purity is relevant only when weighing the residue of a controlled substance.
If adopted into law, this would bring back proportionality of the severity of a drug crime to quantity.
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.