Minneapolis Drug Defense Attorney

Thomas Gallagher, Minnesota Drug Defense Attorney, has over 30 years experience defending marijuana and other Controlled Substance cases in Minnesota state and federal courts.

Drug Defense Attorney Thomas Gallagher at the Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda
Drug Defense Attorney Thomas Gallagher speaking at the Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda on 4/20

Gallagher defends good people against bad laws.

This page is one of several on Liberty-Lawyer.com devoted to Controlled Substance crime defense:
Minnesota Drug Crime Laws page
Possession crime – drugs page
Marijuana Laws in Minnesota page
Marijuana Grow Minnesota page
Medical Marijuana Minnesota page
Khat Attorney page
Minnesota Asset Forfeiture Laws in Drug Cases page

Legal reform advocate

For decades Minneapolis Drug Defense Attorney Gallagher has been an advocate of Controlled Substance and marijuana law reform, and has assisted and represented Minnesota and national legalization advocacy organizations and political parties.

Every type of drug case – both Minnesota state and federal court

Gallagher has handled every type of drug crime defense case, including large federal multi-defendant conspiracy cases, importation, trafficking, distribution, transport, sale, manufacture, grow, and simple possession – state and federal.

Thomas Gallagher, Minneapolis Drug Defense Attorney
Thomas Gallagher, Minneapolis Drug Defense Attorney

An experienced Minneapolis drug defense attorney, drugs cases are a big part of Gallagher’s practice.  Many view Gallagher as one of the best drug lawyers in Minnesota.

In addition, Gallagher has handled many state court, Minnesota controlled substance cases including those involving claimed marijuana, THC, cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA ecstasy, prescriptions, opiates and heroin.

Smaller cases too

Gallagher’s cases have also included smaller cases, such as marijuana grow cases, felony possession, possession of a small amount of marijuana, DWI-marijuana or DUI-drugs, and marijuana in a motor vehicle.

Types of illegal drugs

Drug Defense Attorney Gallagher has years of experience defending cases involving every type of so-called “controlled substance” – from plants like cannabis and khat (qat), to pharmaceuticals, to “hard” street drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin.

NORML Legal Committee Member Thomas GallagherLegalization advocate: In addition to legal triage (defending clients from unjust laws), Gallagher is a decades long advocate of legalizing marijuana.  He is a founding Board Member of Minnesota NORML, since 2011.

From his law office in Minneapolis, Gallagher helps people in danger from targeted investigations, drug task force targeting, raids, search warrant executions.  He helps people solve problems of vehicle forfeiture, asset forfeiture, arrest warrants, extradition, bail, pre-trial release, and mandatory minimum sentencing laws.

Gallagher helps clients with pre-charge counsel, assertion of 5th Amendment privilege, right to silence, immunity, advice.  And Attorney Thomas Gallagher provides tough, thorough, relentless representation against criminal charges.

Types of Drug Crime Defense Cases

Gallagher can foresee the day when lawyers will no longer need to help people charged with a drug crime.  Drug abusers will get medical care instead.

Until that day comes, he will continue to champion his people one at a time, as he has for over 30 years in these areas of law:

  • Controlled Substance Crime, First Degree, Second Degree, Third Degree, Fourth Degree, Fifth Degree
  • Marijuana Possession, Cannabis Grows
  • Federal Drug Conspiracy Cases
  • Importing, Transporting, Trafficking
  • Sale, Distribution
  • Possession
  • Heroin, other Opiates
  • Prescription Drug Crime, including Forgery of Prescriptions
  • Cocaine
  • Psychedelic Drugs, MDMA Ecstasy, LSD, Psilocybin Mushrooms, etc
  • Khat (Cathinone), possession, sale
  • Driving-Related; Marijuana in a Motor Vehicle
  • Small Amount of Marijuana
  • Pre-Charge Counsel, before or during drug task force, police investigation
  • Search, Seizure, and Arrest Issues

Why is possession of certain drugs made a crime?

Prohibition sign
Politicians who support Prohibition are supporting organized crime

Until the 20th Century, possession of drugs was not a crime.  The “common law crimes” were things like murder, assault, rape, theft.

Why are certain drugs criminalized, while others are not?  The difference cannot be the potential for harm to the user, can it?  After all, drink too much alcohol and you will die of overdose.

But it is physically impossible for a human being to fatally overdose from marijuana.  There simply is no toxic dose or overdose possibility.

If a person is harming self with drug abuse, existing civil commitment laws can be used to force the person to get medical help to treat it.  See, Minnesota Statutes Chapter 253B.

But many today who volunteer for chemical dependency treatment cannot get it because funding is lacking. (For example, when they seek funding for inpatient chemical dependency treatment within two years of a previous one.)

But why then, we ask, is there full-funding for prisons – prisons brimming with non-violent drug offenders?

Prohibition laws cause more harm than they avoid

The experiments in Prohibition – first with alcohol, then with marijuana – have utterly and completely failed, over and over.  The goal of Prohibitionists was to reduce the usage of those drugs, yet the opposite has occurred. 

Prohibition laws have resulted in higher usage rates, during the period of criminal Prohibition — both for alcohol and for marijuana, in the United States and in other countries.

Demand has exponentially increased since the beginning of the criminal Prohibition.  And how is that demand met?  It’s met in the underground, illegal economy – with immense amounts of money flowing through.

Prohibition laws trigger violent crime

How is security provided for that money, in that underground illegal economy?  Not by the police, of course.

“Prohibition is the trigger of crime.”  Ian Fleming, Goldfinger
“Prohibition is the trigger of crime.”

“Prohibition is the trigger of crime.”
Ian Fleming, Goldfinger

Street crime gangs and other self-help security tactics and strategies had to be developed to protect that money, paid for by that money.  A large proportion of violent crime, including with guns, is caused by the Prohibition laws.  Take away the laws criminalizing drugs, the violent crime rate drops.

Would a better approach be to change the laws, to focus on Public Health, harm reduction for abusers, and the destruction of the underground economy?

Priorities: “send a message” or reduce social harms?

Some say, “yes, the criminal drug laws may not reduce the problem of drug abuse, but at least they send a message of disapproval.”  To that we say, “Which would you rather do, offer ineffective symbolism or actually help suffering people and reduce the usage rate?

Decriminalizing illegal drugs reduces (does not increase) the rate of use and abuse.  For example, in Holland where marijuana is decriminalized, the usage rate is half what it is in the United States.

Why is the usage rate lower, where it is legal?

Here, at different times:  Look at the alcohol Prohibition in the U.S. – before, during and after.

Now, in different countries:  Look at the current marijuana prohibition in the United States vs. Holland (The Netherlands).  Or Portugal.

The evidence is consistent and clear:  When the substance (alcohol, marijuana, etc.) is “legal” (not treated as a crime), per capita usage rates are lower.  What explains this?

Economist Milton Friedman
“Most of the harm that comes from drugs is because they are illegal.” Milton Friedman

Nobel Prize winning, conservative economist Milton Friedman explains it:

I’m in favor of legalizing drugs. According to my value system, if people want to kill themselves, they have every right to do so. Most of the harm that comes from drugs is because they are illegal.”  Milton Friedman, Conservative Economist

The reason is economics – the law of supply and demand.

As criminal enforcement increases while demand remains constant, first price increases.  (Ironically, the very government officials desperate to claim victory, have actually cited price increases as evidence of “winning the drug war.”)

The law of supply and demand

Then as price increases in the unregulated, Underground Market; the incentive to produce Supply also increases.  For truly addictive drugs, such as heroin, the increase in supply can also then increase demand over time.

In the end, increased criminal law enforcement results in higher price, greater incentive to the Underground Market, which leads to increased supply, and then greater demand and usage rates.  And the cycle repeats.

That’s why usage rate is higher per capita where criminal law enforcement is used to repress supply (criminal possession and sale laws).  That’s why criminal Prohibition laws have increased usage rates.

Harm reduction – the solution that works

To reduce harms caused by abuse, the drugs of potential abuse should be:

  1. decriminalized;
  2. either distributed like tobacco or alcohol (as in the case of marijuana); or like prescriptions (as in the case of addictive drugs like heroin); and
  3. with billions saved from unneeded criminal law enforcement, and with billions generated in tax receipts, provide free chemical dependency education and treatment; and reduce income, property and sales taxes.
William F. Buckley
“Marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.” William F. Buckley, Jr.

“Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows. Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.”

William F. Buckley, Jr. (1925-2008)
Author & journalist, founder ‘National Review’

Defending Liberty, Justice, and the American Way – by using the Supreme Law of the Land in self-defense.

For people with no prior record, often the goal becomes to keep the record clean; and better qualified for record “expungement” later.

For those with prior convictions, avoiding or minimizing jail or prison time is often key.  Mandatory minimum sentencing statutes and severe Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines must be considered, and defended against.

Pretrial Motions

Pretrial motions to suppress evidence illegally obtained by police is of vital importance in drug cases.  The most common of these include:

  • Motions to Suppress Involuntary Statements and Confessions
  • Motions to Suppress Statements in Violation of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)
  • Motions to Suppress Statements in Violation of State v Scales, 518 N.W.2d 587 (Minn. 1994) (police recording)
  • Motions to Suppress Confessions in Violation of Right to Legal Counsel
  • Illegal Search Warrant Suppression Motions 
  • Motions to Suppress Evidence Obtained by an Illegal Warrantless Search, including persons, bodily fluids, cavity searches, automobiles, homes, buildings, containers

Why Thomas C. Gallagher is the one

You can find many good criminal lawyers near you can adequately defend a drug case.  And who knows, maybe that’s good enough for most people.

You deserve the best

But let’s face it.  This is you were talking about here.  This is your one shot.  You deserve the best.  You should have the best drug crime defense attorney Minnesota has to offer.  That’s who you should be looking for.

There are a few in Minnesota viewed as the best.  Thomas C. Gallagher is among them.  Why?

Deep and long experience

Drug Defense Attorney Thomas C Gallagher has successfully defended people from drug-related criminal charges in Minnesota since 1988.  That’s more than 30 years experience (himself, not in some added up a number of young lawyers in a group like some firms claim).

Gallagher has experience using defense experts to analyze forensic evidence of alleged drug identity and quantity.  Most of his cases involve drug crime investigators, detectives, paid informants, illegal electronic surveillance, and multi-jurisdictional drug task forces.

Best reviews and ratings

Client reviews, such as at the bottom of this page, are consistently five-star reviews.  Ratings based on surveys of lawyers and judges aware of Gallagher’s work are the best ratings available.  You can see those for yourself as well.

Demonstrated ability

This website has several pages of in-depth content about Minnesota drug laws and defense.  This is the front page among several on the topics.  And Gallagher written many cutting edge articles published on his blog, Minneapolis Criminal Law News, about drug laws.

For decades, bar associations and Continuing Legal Education providers have asked Gallagher to teach other lawyers, judges and police officers on criminal laws topics, listed here.

Track record of success for clients

Over his decades of experience he has helped hundreds of clients avoid a criminal record, stay out of prison, get all charges dismissed, or get not-guilty verdicts after a jury trial.

What about you?

Is Thomas C. Gallagher the  drug crime defense attorney you want representing you?

Fight back.

Question?  You can call Drug Defense Attorney Thomas Gallagher:  612 333-1500