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Medical Marijuana User? Make Sure What’s in your Possession is Legal


Florida is one of the 29 states that have a medical marijuana program in place. Under this program, qualifying patients can possess a small amount of cannabis to relieve the symptoms of certain conditions, including Crohn’s Disease, HIV/AIDs, cancer, and glaucoma.

Without a valid prescription, it is illegal to possess any amount of marijuana in Florida. This includes concentrates and edible products made with cannabis. If you have been charged with marijuana possession, contact an experienced drug defense lawyer to defend your case. If you are a medical marijuana program participant, your status as a legal patient can be part of your defense strategy and even result in the charge being dropped.

Florida’s Medical Marijuana Program

Doctors cannot prescribe marijuana to patients, but they can recommend that patients purchase marijuana from one of the licensed dispensaries in the state. A patient cannot receive this recommendation until he or she has undergone a full physical examination and an assessment of his or her medical history as well as a diagnosis of one of the qualifying conditions.

Compliance with Florida’s Medical Marijuana Program

A patient or his or her caregiver may possess up to a 45-day supply of low-THC or medical cannabis at a time. Patients may not consume cannabis by smoking it. Rather, they can consume it in the form of edible products or they can vaporize it. Patients cannot grow their own cannabis plants and instead, must obtain their medication according to their physicians’ recommendations at licensed medical dispensaries.

Under no circumstance may a medical marijuana patient or his or her caregiver use or administer cannabis in the following locations:

  • On public transportation;
  • In a state correctional facility;
  • In any public space;
  • If restricted by his or her employer, the patient’s workplace; or
  • On public school grounds.

If you are charged with marijuana possession despite being in compliance with the state medical program, you can use evidence like a copy of your physician’s recommendation or your status as a qualified caregiver to demonstrate that you did not violate the law. It is important to remember that even if you are a patient or caregiver, you can still be in violation of the law by possessing more cannabis than you are legally permitted to possess or administering it in one of the above locations. It is also possible to be charged with marijuana possession if you are found to be in possession of cannabis that did not come from a licensed medical dispensary.

Work with an Experienced Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer

Whether you are a medical marijuana user or not, if you are charged with a marijuana offense in Miami, work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to develop an effective defense strategy for your case. Contact our team at Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC today to set up your initial consultation with us to discuss your case, your rights, and your legal options in greater detail.

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