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Crossing state lines can mean increased marijuana fines

When it comes to marijuana use, which state you're in can make a big difference. Minnesota has joined half of the country in allowing marijuana for medical use, while North Dakota continues to have some of the strictest marijuana laws in the country.

Anyone who uses marijuana and lives near the border between the two states should take a moment to understand the vast differences in how the two states deal with marijuana possession. Here's a breakdown of some of the differences between Minnesota and North Dakota laws. (Note that North Dakota laws apply for medical use as well as recreational.)

In Minnesota, a line is drawn at 42.5 grams, or about 1.5 ounces.

  • Possession of up to 42.5 grams/1.5 ounces is a petty misdemeanor, with penalties of up to $200 and/or drug education programs.
  • Possession of more than 42.5 grams/1.5 ounces is a felony, with punishments ranging from 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine for up to 10 kilograms to up to 30 years in prison and $1 million fine for a possession of over 100 kilograms.

In North Dakota, things get pretty serious at 1 ounce.

  • Possession of under 0.5 ounces is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
  • Possession of between 0.5 and 1 ounce is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine
  • Possession of between 1 ounce and 500 grams is a Class C felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.
  • Possession of more than 500 grams is a Class B felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

Marijuana laws are in flux across the country, and an experienced attorney can help with the nuances of a particular case. For the time being, though, it's safe to say that marijuana users should mind the state line.

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