Legalizing Pot Didn’t Prevent Rochester Man From Getting Charged
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Minnesota may have legalized recreational marijuana use and possession, but a new criminal case filed in Olmsted County Court clearly indicates marijuana-related prosecutions will continue.
Court documents indicate that 20-year-old Meer Othow of Rochester has been charged with first-degree possession of marijuana, which is a felony offense that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. The charge stems from a traffic stop that occurred on November 22.
The criminal complaint says a Rochester police officer initiated a traffic stop around 10:40 PM that night for a vehicle with a headlight out near the intersection of 11th Avenue and 4th Street Southeast. The court document says the officer, while approaching the vehicle, detected the strong odor of both burned and fresh marijuana.
The driver admitted to smoking marijuana in the vehicle "a couple hours ago." He also told the officer that he had approximately a half pound of marijuana in the vehicle.
Under the new state law, it remains illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to use and/or possess cannabis, and based on Othow's age, the officer searched the vehicle and uncovered 2.5 pounds of marijuana flower, 29 marijuana vape cartridges, and 13 marijuana gummy packages.
The search also led to the seizure of two scales, three large evidence bags containing approximately 1000 marijuana dispensary packaging materials, a marijuana pipe, and other paraphernalia.
The court document says Othow has been summoned to appear in court on the felony charge in February.
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Gallery Credit: Carly Ross