Updated on December 18, 2017.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton finally signed a medical cannabis bill in 2014, but the law is very limited. It is one of the more unfortunate medical marijuana facts for Minnesota that patients cannot take advantage of the many benefits of the entire cannabis plant. Instead, they can only use cannabidiol (CBD) oil, which can be costly and sometimes doesn’t provide the relief many people need.
Marijuana Facts for Minnesota
- Most of the criminal statutes relating to marijuana are contained in Chapter 152 of Minnesota Statutes. In Section 152.02, Subd. 2 “Schedule 1,” marijuana is defined as “Schedule 1,” reflecting the current federal legal scheme. The felony drug crimes are mostly laid out, ironically, as “Controlled Substances Crimes” from “first degree” (the most serious) to “fifth degree.” Marijuana is one of several drugs made criminal in these statutes. (Possession of alcohol is no longer a crime.)
- One of the more important Minnesota marijuana facts is that the severity of the criminal charge in marijuana cases under current Minnesota Statutes is quantity. The larger the quantity sold or possessed, the more severe the criminal charge and potential sentence. Just what counts as “quantity?” It is measured by weight. Just what should be counted as weight of marijuana? Section 152.01, subd. 9 says “all the parts of the plant… but shall not include the mature stalks of such plant, fiber from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of such mature stalks, except the resin extracted therefrom, fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.”
- Possession of Marijuana in a Motor Vehicle, Minnesota Statutes §152.027, subd. 3, is a misdemeanor crime, for more than 1.4 grams of marijuana, unless in the trunk of the motor vehicle or similar area of a vehicle not equipped with a trunk. This has been referred to as the “Open Bottle – Marijuana” law, making apparent its intended purpose was to deter drivers from consuming while driving.
- There were more than 12,000 arrests related to marijuana in 2012, and 62 percent of those arrests were for possession. While someone charged with possession of a small amount of weed (1.4 grams or less) for the first time faces a $200 fine and a mandatory drug education program, if you are caught with two ounces, you be facing as much as five years in jail.
- In the state of Minnesota, ballot initiatives such as the ones that have legalized pot in several other areas of the country are not allowed by law. To see their goal of legalization realized, advocates will have to ask lawmakers to take action. There were two bills introduced in the 2017 legislative session, with the sponsor stating that he wanted to see cannabis regulated in Minnesota much like it is in Colorado.
- The legislation would allow anyone over the age of 21 to legally purchase or possess up to an ounce and to grow as many as six plants at one time. Only three of those plants could be mature at any one time. The bill would also place strict regulations on the growing and harvesting of cannabis, as well as the selling of the plant.
- Conditions that currently qualify for medical marijuana use include glaucoma, severe muscle spasms, Crohn’s disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.
At MarijuanaDoctors.com, we keep a close eye on medical marijuana facts for Minnesota and the rest of the country. Please check back with us often because we will keep you updated on developments as news warrants.