Minneapolis Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer

420 lawyer Thomas Gallagher at the Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda
Lawyer Thomas Gallagher speaking at the Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda on 4/20

Gallagher defends good people against evil laws.

Thomas Gallagher, Minnesota Drug Crime Defense Attorney, has over 30 years experience defending marijuana and other drug crimes defense cases in Minnesota state and federal courts, in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota.

This page is one of several on Liberty-Lawyer.com devoted to drug crimes defense. See also:
Minnesota Drug Crimes Laws page
Possession crimes – drugs page
Marijuana Laws in Minnesota page
Marijuana Grow Minnesota page
Medical Marijuana Minnesota page
Minnesota Asset Forfeiture Laws in Drug Cases page

For decades Minneapolis lawyer Gallagher has been an advocate of drug and marijuana law reform, and has assisted and represented Minnesota and national legalization advocacy organizations and political parties.

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

Thomas Gallagher, Minneapolis Defense Attorney
Thomas Gallagher, Minneapolis 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 to being a drug trafficking defense attorney in federal court, Gallagher has handled numerous state court, Minnesota controlled substance cases including those involving claimed marijuana, THC, cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA ecstasy, prescription drugs, opium and heroin.

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

Marijuana lawyer Gallagher has years of experience defending cases involving every type of so-called “controlled substance” – from plants like marijuana and khat (qat), to pharmaceutical prescription drugs, 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 has been an advocate of legalizing marijuana for decades.  In 2017-2018 he was elected the Chair of the Board of Directors of Minnesota NORML.

From his law office based in the Twin Cities (Mpls, MN) in Hennepin County, Gallagher has helped people in danger from targeted investigations, drug task force targeting, drug raids, search warrant executions, vehicle forfeiture, asset forfeiture, arrest warrants, extradition, bail, pre-trial release, and mandatory minimum sentencing provisions – with pre-charge counsel, assertion of 5th Amendment privilege, right to silence, immunity, advice – and tough, thorough, relentless representation against drug criminal charges.

Types of Drug Crimes Defense Cases
Gallagher can foresee the day when lawyers will no longer need to help people charged with drug crimes.  Until that day comes, he will continue to champion 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
  • Possession
  • Heroin, other Opiates
  • Prescription Drug Crimes, 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, there are existing civil commitment laws which 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, where they seek funding for an inpatient chemical dependency treatment program within two years of a previous one.)

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

The experiments in drug Prohibition – first with alcohol, then with marijuana – have utterly and completely failed, over and over and over again.  The purported goal of Prohibitionists was to reduce or eliminate 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.

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

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

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

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 marijuana 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 on some way, have actually cited price increases as evidence of “winning the drug war.”)

Then as price increases in the underground, unregulated, Black Market; the incentive to produce more Supply also increases.  For 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 Black 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 drug abuse, the drugs of potential abuse should be (a) decriminalized; (b) either distributed like tobacco or alcohol (as in the case of marijuana) or like prescription drugs (as in the case of addictive drugs like heroin); and (c) with billions saved from counterproductive criminal law enforcement, and with billions generated in tax receipts for the government, provide free chemical dependency education and treatment to all comers; 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 as clean as possible, 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 to suppress evidence illegally obtained by police is of vital importance in drug cases.  The most common of these include:

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

Marijuana defense lawyer Thomas C Gallagher has been successfully defending people from drug-related criminal charges in Minnesota since 1988.  Gallagher has experience using defense experts to analyze forensic evidence of alleged drug identity and quantity, as well as working cases involving drug crimes investigators, detectives, paid informants, illegal electronic surveillance, and multi-jurisdictional drug task forces.

Fight back.

You can call Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Thomas Gallagher to discuss your case:  612 333-1500