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Drug Crimes

Minneapolis Drug Defense Attorney

Drug Defense Attorney Thomas Gallagher has experience defending marijuana and Controlled Substance cases. And he has over three decades of this experience in Minnesota state and federal courts.  So now you can benefit from his expertise.

This page is one of our several about Controlled Substance crime defense:

Minnesota Drug Crime Laws page

Possession crime – drugs page

Marijuana Laws in Minnesota page

Marijuana Grow Minnesota page

Minnesota Asset Forfeiture Laws in Drug Cases page

Legal reform advocate

For decades Minneapolis Drug Defense Attorney Thomas Gallagher has been an advocate of Controlled Substance and marijuana law reform.  And he has helped Minnesota and national legalization advocacy organizations and political parties.

He is a NORML Legal Committee member Attorney. And Attorney Thomas Gallagher serves on the Board of Directors of Minnesota NORML.

Every type of drug case – Minnesota state and federal court

Drug Defense Attorney Thomas Gallagher handles every type of drug crime defense case.  And these include:

  • large federal multi-defendant conspiracy cases,
  • importation, trafficking, distribution, transport,
  • sale, manufacture,
  • grow, and
  • simple possession
  • both state and federal.
Thomas Gallagher, Minneapolis Drug Defense Attorney
Thomas Gallagher, Minneapolis Drug Defense Attorney

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

In addition, Thomas Gallagher has handles many state court, Minnesota controlled substance cases.  And these cases include alleged marijuana, THC, cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA ecstasy, prescriptions, opiates and heroin.

Smaller cases, too

Thomas Gallagher’s cases also include smaller cases:

Types of illegal drugs

Drug Defense Attorney Thomas Gallagher’s cases involve every type of “controlled substance.” 

And they range from plants like cannabis and khat (qat); to pharmaceuticals; to “hard” street drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin.

NORML Legal Committee Member Thomas Gallagher

Legalization advocate: In addition to defending clients from unjust laws; Thomas Gallagher is a decades long advocate of legalizing marijuana.  And he is a founding Board Member of Minnesota NORML, since 2011.

How Drug Defense Attorney Thomas Gallagher can help

From his Uptown Minneapolis law office, Thomas Gallagher helps people. So he helps people in danger of police investigations, drug task force targeting, search warrant executions.  And he helps people solve problems of vehicle forfeiture, arrest warrants, pre-trial release, and mandatory minimum sentencing.

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

Types of Drug Crime Defense Cases

Drug Defense Attorney Thomas Gallagher can foresee a better future. Someday lawyers will no longer need to help people facing Minnesota drug crime charges.  And drug abusers will get medical care, instead.

But until that day comes, he’ll continue to champion people one at a time, in these areas of law:

How did possession of some drugs become a crime?

Prohibition sign
Politicians who support Prohibition are supporting organized crime

Until the 20th Century, possession of drugs was not a crime.  So no one ever needed a Drug Defense Attorney. And the “common law crimes” were things like murder, assault, rape, theft.

Why did they criminalize some drugs; but not others?  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.  So there is simply no toxic dose or overdose possibility.

What about drug abuse?  If a person is chemically dependent, existing civil commitment laws can force the person to get medical helpSee, Minnesota Statutes Chapter 253B.

Power, priorities and the blame game

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

But why then, we ask, do we fully fund prisons – brimming with non-violent drug offenders? And why are we spending billions on criminal prosecutions? So, can we imagine a world with no more need for a drug defense attorney?

Prohibition laws cause more harm than they avoid

The experiments in Prohibition – first with alcohol, then with marijuana – have utterly and completely failed, again and again.  

And though the goal of Prohibitionists was to reduce the usage of those drugs; the opposite has occurred. 

So Prohibition laws have resulted in higher usage rates, during periods of criminal Prohibition.  This is true for both alcohol and marijuana; in the United States and in other countries.

Demand has exponentially increased since the beginning of the criminal Prohibition.  And who meets that demand?  The underground, illegal economy supplies that demand. 

And immense amounts of money flow through it.

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

So who provides security for that money, in the underground, illegal economy?  Not the police, of course.

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

Self-help security strategies develop to protect that money.  And these include street crime gangs.  A large proportion of violent crime is the result of the Prohibition laws.  So Prohibition triggers much of the criminal use of guns.  And if we remove the laws criminalizing drugs; the violent crime rate drops.

So why not change the laws?  The laws could instead focus on Public Health, harm reduction for abusers; and the destruction of the underground economy. And then we wold not need prosecutors; nor a drug defense attorney.

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

But some say, “criminal drug laws may not reduce drug abuse, but at least they send a message.

To that we say, “Should we choose ineffective symbolism; or help those who suffer and reduce the usage rate?

Decriminalizing illegal drugs reduces (does not increase) the rate of use and abuse.  So for example, in Holland where marijuana is not a crime; the usage rate is half that 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. – lower usage before, higher during and lower after. In social science, we call this an A-B-A experimental format.

Now, in different countries:  Compare 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) is “legal,” per capita usage rates are lower

So 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. So natural law trumps man’s law.

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

During the alcohol Prohibition, a drug defense attorney helped people busted for alcohol. It made no sense then. And it makes no sense now.

The law of supply and demand – natural law

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.

But in the end, increased criminal law enforcement results in higher price.  And higher price increases incentive to the suppliers.  That leads to greater supply, and then more demand and higher usage rates.  

And the cycle repeats.

That’s why where we use criminal law to repress supply, the usage rate is higher per capita .  And that’s how Prohibition laws increase usage rates.

But repealing criminal Prohibition laws can reduce usage rates. Treating drug abuse as a medical problem works. And it eliminates the need for a drug defense attorney.

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 alcohol (as in the case of marijuana); or like prescription drugs (as in the case of addictive drugs like heroin); and
  3. with billions saved from unneeded criminal enforcement, and with billions generated in taxes; provide free chemical dependency education and treatment; and reduce income, property and sales taxes.
"Marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could." William F. Buckley, Jr.
“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 – with the Supreme Law of the Land

So how can a drug defense attorney help people now?

For people with no prior record, often the goal becomes to keep the record clean.

But for those with prior convictions, avoiding or minimizing jail or prison time is often key.  So we must consider, and defend against mandatory minimum sentencing statutes and severe Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines.

Pretrial Motions

Pretrial motions to suppress evidence illegally obtained by police is of vital importance in drug cases.  And 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

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

You need the best
Drug Defense Attorney Thomas Gallagher at the Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda
Drug Defense Attorney Thomas Gallagher speaking at the Minnesota Capitol 4/20

Attorney Thomas Gallagher defends good people against bad laws.

But let’s face it.  This is you were talking about here. 

And you only have one chance to get it right.  So you deserve the best drug defense attorney.

You should have the best drug crime defense attorney Minnesota has to offer.  That’s who you should be looking for.

And few in Minnesota are 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.  And that’s more than 30 years of expertise and success.

Thomas Gallagher has experience using defense experts to analyze forensic evidence of alleged drug identity and quantity.  And 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.  And ratings based on surveys of lawyers and judges aware of Thomas Gallagher’s work are the best ratings available.  So you can see those for yourself.

And as a bonus, he’s a decades long NORML Legal Committee Attorney member; connected to the best marijuana lawyers across the USA.

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 Thomas Gallagher publishes many cutting edge articles on his Minneapolis Criminal Law Blog, about drug laws.

For decades, bar associations and Continuing Legal Education providers have asked Attorney Thomas Gallagher to teach. And he has taught other lawyers, judges and police officers on criminal laws topics.

Track record of success for clients

For decades, Attorney Thomas Gallagher has helped clients:

  • avoid a conviction record,
  • avoid prison,
  • get dismissal of charges , and
  • get not-guilty verdicts after a jury trial.
What about you?
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Is Thomas C. Gallagher the drug crime defense attorney you want representing you?

Take Action – Fight back

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