There has been talk in a few cities across the country about partially decriminalizing marijuana for recreational use in an attempt to reduce the number of young adults getting criminal records. Even for something as little as misdemeanor marijuana possession charges, a Minneapolis man or woman could face serious problems. He or she may have to pay a large fine or spend time in jail; regardless of what the punishment is, he or she will now have a criminal record.
With the current status of the economy it is important to not have anything in your background that would prevent you from getting a job and a misdemeanor drug charge may make it extremely difficult to land a job. Criminal records can also affect the ability to find housing or to get into some schools. It is for this reason, among others, that a few states and cities have considered decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana.
In one proposal, a governor has asked that someone found in possession of less than 25 grams of marijuana only be forced to pay a $100 fine. Though other officials across the country have issued their support on the issue, it is unknown whether any laws will actually be changed. In fact, in one location, they are concerned that federal officials will be upset that the city's law is so different from the federal drug regulations.
Does this have a chance of passing in Minnesota? It is unclear, but the idea of preventing the large number of young adults getting a criminal record is something many people can get behind.
Source: The Washington Post, " Marijuana decriminalization unlikely in D.C., officials say," Tim Craig, June 5, 2012
Criminal Defense Attorney