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In Minnesota, we have a large Somali community.  And Khat Attorney Thomas C. Gallagher has represented many Somali clients over the years.

A plant called “Khat” (or “Qat”) has been a significant aspect of Somali culture for hundreds of years.

But in the U.S.A., Prohibition laws first appeared in the early 20th Century.

And all of them have proven failures.  Because these laws created more problems than proponents claimed to solve.

So we ask, why this law, and why now?

Is Khat illegal?

Recently, the Minnesota legislature made cathinone a crime to possess or sell.  Khat contains the mild stimulant “cathinone.” But unlike marijuana, Minnesota laws do not criminalize the Khat plant itself.

The United States’ has a short history of criminalizing certain drugs based on racism and cultural bias.  So, in light of Khat’s mild physiological effects, is this yet another example?

Cathinone vs. khat

Khat Attorney: "corn is a sucrose 'mixture'"
Khat Attorney: “corn is a sucrose ‘mixture'”

Your khat attorney must know the law. And Minnesota Statutes §152.02, subd. 2 (6) defines cathinone (not Khat) as a “schedule 1”“controlled” substance.

But the plant Khat is not a listed controlled substance.

Yet the Minnesota Court of Appeals seems to say that the plant is “a mixture” containing cathinone; and so is a crime to possess, in State v. Ahmed, 791 NW 2d 296 (Minn. App. 2010).

By that reasoning, the corn on the cob at your next family dinner is “a mixture” containing sucrose. But was Minnesota’s mixture law intended to address mixtures made by God and nature; or made by human law-breakers?

This “mixture” law is an injustice.  But Khat Attorney Thomas Gallagher can help justice get done.

Sale of cathinone

Sale of a “Schedule 1” substance can be a “controlled substance crime” in the:

  • “second degree” Minnesota Statutes §152.022, subd 1 (5).
  • “third degree”  Minnesota Statutes §152.023, subd 1 (3), (4).
  • “fourth degree” Minnesota Statutes §152.024, subd 1 (1).

These are felony drug crimes.  And Khat Attorney Thomas C. Gallagher knows how to defend a sale case effectively.

Possession of cathinone

Khat Attorney Gallagher explains drug laws
Khat Attorney Gallagher explains drug laws

Possession of a “Schedule 1” substance can be a “controlled substance crime” in the:

  • “third degree” Minnesota Statutes §152.023, subd 2 (4).
  • “fourth degree” Minnesota Statutes §152.024, subd 2, (2).

And these possession laws are felony drug crimes, too.  But an expert defense can make the defense.  And Khat Attorney Thomas Gallagher will use his three decades experience to help you.

Federal Court Khat prosecutions

Federal criminal prosecutions for Khat are similar in many ways to other federal drug crime prosecutions.  See, for example, U.S. vs Sheikh, Case No. 03-2634, United States Court of Appeals 8th Circuit, May 7, 2004.

Immigration Consequences

Most of Khat Attorney Thomas Gallagher’s Somali clients have been U.S. Citizens.

But non-citizens, even Permanent Residents face Removal (Deportation) if convicted of a drug crime.  And Khat Attorney Thomas Gallagher can help protect against that risk for you.

Many immigration law problems caused by a criminal prosecution can more easily be solved with the help of a good criminal defense attorney.  Because if convicted; later, an immigration attorney has only a small chance of success.

Khat Attorney Thomas C. Gallagher

Thomas Gallagher is a Minneapolis criminal defense attorney with a heavy emphasis on defending people accused of drug crimes.

Khat Attorney Thomas C. Gallagher
Khat Attorney Thomas Gallagher can help answer your questions when you call

And defending a person in a Khat case is similar to defending in any criminal case; and in any drug crime case.  But, the specific plant or drug prohibited does make a difference.

So, the prosecuting attorney must have evidence of identity of the plant or substance at trial.  And otherwise, the court will dismiss the charge.

Attorney Thomas C. Gallagher knows how to challenge evidence from the police.  And he knows how to fight for his client to win the case.

Question?  Call Khat Attorney Thomas C. Gallagher at 612 333-1500