As fans of The Office will recall, Jim Halpert once attempted to convince Dwight Schrute that Marijuana is a memory loss drug, meaning it erases your memories. If Jim was telling the truth and being honest with Dwight (a big “if”, we know) then it would make sense you forgot there was marijuana in your motor vehicle. Even if marijuana did not erase your memories as Jim suggested, you may have been aware the marijuana was in the car, but doubted you would come in contact with law enforcement. However, if you are reading this blog, there is a good chance that you came in contact with law enforcement and they subsequently found the marijuana. The inevitable question is, now what?
For the purpose of this blog, we will assume that you got caught with traditional marijuana, not THC wax or some other hybrid form of marijuana, that would cause a different set of legal issues (see our blog). Under Minnesota Statute § 152.027, subd. 3, possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle is a misdemeanor level offense. In order to be charged under Minnesota Statute § 152.027, you must either be the owner of the motor vehicle OR if the owner is not present, you must be driver of the motor vehicle AND you must knowingly keep or allow others to keep marijuana in the area of the vehicle normally occupied by the driver or passengers. Regardless of which of the above situations apply, you must be in possession of more than 1.4 grams of marijuana in order to be charged. To put 1.4 grams into perspective, a few common items that weigh around 1.4 grams include: paperclip, a standard birthday candle, a raisin, and a stick of gum. If you are wondering what the statute means by “an area normally occupied by the driver or passengers,” the statute provides some guidance. The statute states that a trunk or a similar type area in a vehicle that passengers do not sit will not be included under Minnesota Statute § 152.027. However, a glove compartment will be deemed to be a part of the area occupied by the driver and/or passengers.
If you are caught with marijuana in a motor vehicle, or in general, and have questions about the legal consequences, give our video on marijuana possession a watch and give us a call at 763.424.6366.