July 18, 2019. Thomas C. Gallagher, a Minneapolis Criminal Defense Attorney, presented a Continuing Legal Education class on DUI-marijuana cases and hemp defenses to marijuana charges. And he presented his course to the Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL), co-sponsored by Minnesotans for Responsible Marijuana Regulation (MRMR) at CLE: Up in Smoke. The event took place at at the Urban Growler Brewing Company in St. Paul, Minnesota.
One key takeaway is that marijuana does not impair drivers as much as alcohol does – not even close. In fact, according to scientific studies aggregated by NHTSA, the crash risk with acute marijuana intoxication is identical to that of using a hands-free cell phone while driving. More on: Minnesota Marijuana DUI.
Did you know that not all cannabis is illegal to possess in Minnesota in 2019? Hemp is now legal to possess, under both Minnesota and federal law.
This creates new burdens to the government in enforcing marijuana possession criminal laws. For example, because hemp and marijuana both come from the cannabis plant, the odor of marijuana alone is no longer probable cause for police to search a car. Why?
Because hemp has the same odor. And Gallagher covered this example of hemp defenses, and many other ways to use hemp law to defend marijuana possession cases.
Thomas Gallagher is also a former Chair and current Board Member of Minnesota NORML, a non-profit working to legalize marijuana in Minnesota for Responsible Adult Use. In addition to political organizing and teaching, he engages in the legislative process at the Minnesota legislature.
The Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL) is the largest criminal defense bar association in Minnesota. Its members commit themselves to excellence in protecting the rights of the people. And Gallagher is a proud member, and happy to discuss hemp defenses and marijuana-DUI.
Photo credit: Thanks to Noah M. Johnson, fellow criminal defense attorney and former Minnesota Grassroots Party candidate for Minnesota Attorney General.