It seems like every day another state is legalizing marijuana. Will Florida be the next state to update its legislation involving marijuana? Marijuana laws that deal with medical marijuana and marijuana for recreational use have been a hot topic in Florida. It is important to remember that as of right now, marijuana has not been legalized in Florida. Thus, if a person is found with marijuana, they can still be charged and convicted of a controlled substance crime. Until marijuana legislation is changed, a person should understand the current laws so that they do not find themselves behind bars.
Florida’s Current Drug Law
Under Florida’s current drug law, marijuana is considered a controlled substance. A person cannot sell, manufacture, deliver, or possess with the intent to sell a controlled substance. If a person is convicted of this crime, he or she will be convicted of a felony in the third degree.
If a person possesses under 20 grams, then it will only be a misdemeanor. However, if a person possesses over 25 pounds, then it is viewed as trafficking and the person can face a first-degree marijuana charge. The minimum first-degree marijuana charge can carry a prison sentence of up to three years in jail and a $25,000 fine. A marijuana trafficking charge can carry a sentence of up to 15 years in jail and a fine of $200,000.
What the Bill Would Do
If Florida’s bill becomes a law, it would mean that marijuana would no longer be considered a controlled substance, which would make it just like any other plant in the state. Medical marijuana has gained support recently in Florida in hopes that it will not hit another setback like it did in 2014.
In the meantime, two Democrats introduced legislation in the Senate and the House back in September. The laws differ from traditional marijuana laws in that they simply would take marijuana off the list of controlled substances instead of creating a program where the state can tax the individuals.
Even if these bills become law, the federal prohibition against marijuana will still exist. However, this would be seen as an additional step toward getting rid of the federal ban altogether. For instance, law enforcement makes 99 of 100 marijuana busts under state law. Thus, if there are no state bans in Florida then there will essentially be no charges because the federal government lacks the resources to enforce marijuana prohibition without state support.
Drug Charges in Florida
With the many changes in marijuana laws throughout the United States, it may seem hard to keep track of what drug is legal or illegal and where. If you have been charged with a drug crime you need a legal defense team to stand by your side and defend your freedoms. Our attorneys at Moses and Rooth have a great deal of experience working on drug-related cases. We are available to take your call at 407-377-0150 and provide you with a complimentary consultation.