Florida Marijuana Laws
Marijuana is a hot topic in recent Florida news, with an approaching contentious vote that could significantly change the legalities of the controversial drug. The Tampa Tribune is reporting that the legalization debate is heating up, with a televised debate planned between several interested parties. Amendment Two is a statewide bill that would legalize medical marijuana. Patients will receive a written authorization from their doctor, documenting their medical condition. They will then obtain an identification card for presentation at a state regulated medical marijuana dispensary. According to the report, the measure will require 60 percent of the vote on November 4th in order to become law. If successful, it will lead the way for an entire new industry and drug defense within Florida.
Current Marijuana Laws
Under the current statute, a limited group of seriously ill residents are deemed exempt from criminal prosecution for using a specific type of marijuana that is high in certain cannabinoids (CBD), but low in Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. All other users, even if using for medicinal purposes, may be convicted of possession with the possibility of criminal penalties.
The following classifications are for possession of marijuana:
- Possession of 20 grams or less is a misdemeanor, punishable by a possible year imprisonment and/or $1000 fine
- Possession of more than 20 grams is a felony, punishable by a possible five years imprisonment and/or $5000 fine
The possession of marijuana plants is also against the law in Florida. It comes with stiffer penalties because it creates an assumption that the plants are grown with the intent to distribute:
- Possession of less than 25 plants is a felony, punishable by a possible five years imprisonment and/or $5000 fine
- Possession of 25 plants or more is also a felony, punishable by a possible 15 years imprisonment and/or $10,000 fine
Possession of more than 25 pounds of marijuana boosts the offense into the classification of drug trafficking, which carries mandatory sentences.
- Possession of 25 -2000 pounds carries a mandatory sentence of $25,000 and three years imprisonment
- Possession of 2,000 – 10,000 pounds carries a mandatory sentence of $50,000 and 7 years imprisonment
- Possession of more than 10,000 pound results in a mandatory sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a $200,000 fine
To prove allegations of marijuana possession, the prosecution must show that the drug is the alleged illegal substance. In addition, proof is also required to show that defendant knew about the illicit nature of the substance and maintained control over the marijuana, whether through actual physical possession or constructive control from afar. A competent lawyer can create a defense that counters one or more of these elements. If done effectively, the defense can keep the prosecution from proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Reach Out to an Experienced Attorney
If you or a loved one is facing marijuana drug charges, Attorneys Mycki Ratzan and Jude Faccidomo can provide you with an aggressive and comprehensive defense. Contact Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC in Miami today at (305) 330-3905 for a confidential and free consultation.