Someday soon, the Minnesota Legislature may legalize marijuana for most purposes. So, questions like the legal status of CDB oil will be irrelevant. But for now, cannabidiol is a semi-legal marijuana product. In other words, possessing it may get you into trouble, and a St. Paul criminal defense lawyer can get you out.
CBD oil is a little like synthetic marijuana. A few years ago, marijuana substitutes like K-2 were in practically every Ramsey County convenience store. Then John Law stepped in, and that was the end of that. The point is this: Sometimes the law does not keep up with technology, and that’s especially true with regard to synthetic marijuana. When someone develops a new strain, it’s usually not illegal until the legislature changes the law.
Similarly, keep an eye on marijuana edibles. Sometimes these goodies contain illegal substances, and sometimes they do not. If the chemical wasn’t illegal at the time of arrest, the judge normally throws out the case.
Cannabidiol is the primary active ingredient in Epidiolex. Many epilepsy patients take this FDA-approved drug. CBD is an unscheduled drug in many international organizations, such as the United Nations and the World Health Organization.
Aside from an epilepsy treatment, cannabidiol has some other possible benefits as well. Some of them are scientifically sound, some have some basis, and some are purely speculative. The list includes:
Honorable mention goes to heart health (decent evidence), glaucoma (but that’s mostly THC), and Parkinson’s disease (very little evidence).
Classifying CBD oil as marijuana or non-marijuana is a very uncertain process. Fortunately, the Ramsey County prosecutor has the burden of proof on this point. So, a St. Paul criminal defense lawyer just has to establish doubt.
According to Section 152.01 of the Minnesota Health Statutes, “‘Marijuana’ means all parts of the plant of any species of the genus Cannabis, including all agronomical varieties, whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin.” That’s an extremely broad definition which seemingly incorporates any marijuana or marijuana extract which is not produced in a lab.
But wait a minute. Also according to the statute, illegal marijuana does not include”oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant.”
Does cannabidiol come from marijuana seeds or another part of the plant? There is some evidence that CBD oil, which is also called hemp oil, does indeed come from the seeds. But the evidence is a bit shaky. That bit of evidence may be sufficient, since as mentioned, the Ramsey County prosecutor has the burden of proof.
It is certain that cannabidiol contains no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the substance in marijuana which makes people stoned or high. So, a St. Paul criminal defense lawyer can argue that the statute is not intended to block things like CBD oil. Furthermore, CBD is an approved drug with medicinal properties recognized worldwide. And, Minnesota does have a medical marijuana law.
How a St. Paul Criminal Defense Lawyer Handles Marijuana Cases
In Minnesota, possession of marijuana under 42.5 grams is a petty misdemeanor. 42.5 grams is about a dozen joints. A petty misdemeanor is like a serious traffic ticket. It’s punishable by a maximum $200 fine and a drug education course.
Possession over 42.5 grams is a felony (maximum five years in prison and $5,000 fine). So, one or two joints could make a very big difference.
In misdemeanor possession cases, if the prosecutor offers pretrial diversion, that’s usually the way to go. Defendants pay a small fee and jump through a few hoops, such as taking a class and performing community service. Then, the prosecutor dismisses the charges.
Pretrial diversion is normally not available in felonies. However, there are a number of defenses to drug possession cases. For example, “possession” and “proximity” are not the same thing in this context. Ramsey County prosecutors must do more than show that the marijuana was within reach. Additionally, the quantity in the charging instrument must be a useable quantity of marijuana. Generally, burnt marijuana does not count. In borderline misdemeanor/felony cases, this issue may be a big one.
In Minnesota, CBD oil is a quasi-legal marijuana extract. For a free consultation with an experienced St. Paul criminal defense lawyer, contact Capitol City Law Group, LLC. Go online now, call us at (651) 212-4073, or stop by 287 6th St E, Suite 20, St Paul, MN 55101.