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Drug laws becoming severe in MN

What do Breaking Bad, Weeds, and Pineapple Express all have in common? They all center around drugs. The media has tapped into the high risk and drama that surrounds selling drugs for entertainment. The U.S Drug Enforcement Administration predicts the availability of heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine will rise this year. They also discuss the growth of synthetic designer drugs becoming a huge problem in the U.S. 

To combat this, Minnesota has become very strict when it comes to drugs. Drug possession is not a thing to gamble with when simply having substances on your property can be enough for conviction. The sentencing for a drug crime factors in the person’s past criminal record, which makes penalties more harsh for repeating offenders.

The severity of penalization depends on what substance it is and how much is in the person’s possession. The crimes include sales, possession, and trying to manufacture methamphetamine. First degree drug charges have serious penalties ranging from 30 years in prison to fines of up to 1 million dollars. Here are some examples of what could potentially be a first degree drug charge:

  • Marijuana  
    • Possess 100 kilograms or more
    • Sells 50 kilograms or more
  • Amphetamines or Hallucinogens
    • Possess 500 grams/doses
    • Sells 50 grams/200 doses or more
  • “Other” narcotics  
    • Possess 500 grams or more
    • Sells 50 grams or more
  • Cocaine, Heroin, or Methamphetamines  
    • Possess 25 grams or more
    • Sells 10 grams or more

Second degree drug consequences are still stern, ranging from 25 years in prison to $500,000 fines. This also applies to anyone who sells a drug in a school zone, park, public housing zone, or drug treatment facility. Selling to or working with any person under the age of 18 is also a second degree drug crime. Here are some examples of what could potentially be a second degree drug charge:

  • Marijuana
    • Possess 50 kilograms or more
    • Sells 5 kilograms or more
  • Amphetamines or Hallucinogens –
    • Possess 50 grams/100 doses or more
    • Sells 10 grams/50 doses or more
  • “Other” narcotics –
    • Possess 50 grams or more
    • Sells 10 grams or more
  • Cocaine, Heroin, or Methamphetamines –
    • Possess 6 grams or more
    • Sell 3 grams or more

Third degree possession is still a felony that can result in up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 fines. Here are some examples of what could potentially be a third degree drug charge:

  • Marijuana
    • Possess 10 kilograms or more
    • Sells 5 kilograms or more
  • Amphetamines or Hallucinogens
    • Possess 5 or more doses
    • Sells 10 or more doses
  • Narcotics in Pill Form
    • Possess 50 or more doses
  • “Other” narcotics
    • Possess 10 grams or more
  • Cocaine, Heroin, or Methamphetamines
    • Possess 3 grams or more

Fourth and fifth degree charges can also be handed out as well. Although they are not as severe, they still can greatly effect anyone's life. 

Fourth degree possession only applies to hallucinogens. Having 10 or more doses results in a felony charge and the potential of a sentence of up to 15 years in prison with possible fines up to $100,000.

Fifth degree possession is any amount of any drug that doesn’t fit into the other categories. This still results in a felony charge that can result in up to 5 years in prison and fines of $10,000.