Minneapolis Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer
Thomas Gallagher, Minnesota Drug Crime Defense Attorney, has over 29 years experience defending marijuana and other drug crimes defense cases in Minnesota state and federal court, in the Twin Cities as well as 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 publicly advocated drug and marijuana legalization, and has assisted and represented Minnesota and national legalization advocacy organizations and political parties. Minneapolis Drug Attorney Gallagher has handled every type of drug crime defense case, including large federal drug conspiracy cases, importation, trafficking, distribution, sale, manufacture, grow, and simple possession – state and federal.
An experienced Minneapolis drug defense attorney, drugs cases are a big part of Gallagher’s practice. Many consider Gallagher to be one of the best drug lawyers in Minnesota.
In addition to being a drug trafficking attorney in federal court, Gallagher has handled numerous state court, Minnesota controlled substance cases including those involving claimed cannabis (marihuana), cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA ecstasy, prescription drugs, opium and heroin. Minneapolis Drug Defense Attorney 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 drugs (driving related), and marijuana in a motor vehicle.
Legalization advocate: In addition to legal triage (defending clients from unjust laws), Gallagher has been an advocate of legalizing marijuana for decades. In 2017 he was elected the Chair of the Board of Directors of Minnesota NORML.
Marijuana lawyer Gallagher’s cases have included those with every type of so-called “controlled substance” – from plants like marijuana (cannabis) and khat (qat), to pharmaceutical prescription drugs, to “hard” street drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin.
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
Minneapolis Drug Crime Defense Lawyer Gallagher can foresee the day when drug lawyers like him will no longer need to help people charged with drug crimes. Until that day comes, he will continue to help people one at a time, as he has for over 29 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
- Heroin, other Opiates
- Prescription Drug Crimes, including Forgery of Prescriptions
- 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?
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 die from marijuana. There is no toxic dose or overdose possibility.
If a person is harming self with drug abuse, there are 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 may ask, is there full-funding for prisons – prisons brimming with non-violent drug offenders?
The experiment in drug Prohibition – first with alcohol, then with marijuana – has completely failed. The purported goal of it was to reduce or eliminate the usage of those drugs, yet the opposite has occurred. 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 it. 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 drug Prohibition laws, as a result. Would it be a better approach to change the laws to focus on Public Health, harm reduction for drug abusers, and the destruction of the underground, illegal economy of drugs?
“Prohibition is the trigger of crime.” Ian Fleming, Goldfinger
Some say, “yes, the drug crime 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 impotent symbolism or actually help suffering people? Decriminalizing illegal drugs would reduce, 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, where it is not.”
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 could explain this?
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, government officials desperate to claim victory on some way, have cited price increase as evidence of “winning the drug war.”)
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 increase demand over time.
In the end, increased criminal law enforcement results in higher price, greater incentive to the Black Market, 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).
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.
“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 “expungement” later. For those with priors, 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.