Many states continue to grapple with whether policymakers should legalize marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes. At the same time, states with some form of legalized marijuana work on expanding or clarifying what the law allows.
According to the Pioneer Press, the Minnesota Department of Health recently announced changes to how they approach medicinal marijuana.
Methods of delivery
Current cannabis products available to qualified patients include pills, liquids and orally-dissolvable medicines. Some patients cannot easily tolerate these current products. To accommodate these patients, the Department of Health now allows medical cannabis patients to use cannabis edibles for medical use. Minnesota also approved smokable cannabis as an eligible method of delivery starting in March 2022.
It is unclear whether this expansion hints at further change to marijuana policy or law.
Minnesota currently has 17 health issues that qualify for legal medical cannabis use, but anxiety disorders do not qualify. After receiving comments from practitioners and looking for evidence, the Health Commissioner concluded the benefits did not outweigh the unintended consequences.
Current marijuana laws
As it stands, Minnesota only allows registered medical cannabis patients to possess and use marijuana. Anyone without a valid prescription may face criminal charges. Possession of up to 42.5 grams is a misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $200. Possession of more than that merits a felony charge with jail time between five and 30 years with fines as high as $1 million.
Drug offenses impact the lives of people. For college-aged adults, a conviction could pose an enormous risk to their future and educational prospects. When facing these charges, there are methods of minimizing the impact to protect a student’s future.