Is Marijuana Legal in Florida?
The recreational use of weed is legalized in 18 states, with a further 13 decriminalizing the drug. However, in Florida, outside of medical use, possession of the substance is still a serious crime that can result in strict penalties such as fines and jail time.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Florida’s marijuana laws, punishments for violating these laws, and possible defenses if you are arrested and charged with possession.
What Are Florida’s Marijuana Laws?
In the state, marijuana use is legal but only if you possess a medical marijuana card. This card authorizes you to purchase and use marijuana for medicinal purposes. According to the law, if you are caught using or possessing marijuana without this card, you are considered a recreational user. Recreational use is illegal in the state, even if you are using the drug for medicinal purposes.
How Do I Qualify for a Medical Marijuana Card?
To receive a medical marijuana card, you must have a positive medical diagnosis for one of the qualifying medical conditions listed by the state of Florida. These conditions can include cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, and Crohn’s disease.
Once you’ve been diagnosed, a qualified healthcare provider can assist you with obtaining a medical marijuana card. This card will then enable you to purchase marijuana from licensed dispensaries across Florida.
What Are the Penalties for Recreational Use or Illegal Use of Marijuana?
If you do not have a medical card, and you are arrested while using or in possession of marijuana, you could face strict penalties. Typically, the severity of your punishment will depend on the amount of marijuana in your possession. Such penalties can range from fines and community service to up to 30 years behind bars.
Keep in mind that even if you have a medical marijuana card, the use of this drug has certain restrictions. For example, you cannot operate a vehicle while under the effects of marijuana and you are not allowed to smoke the substance in public.
Can I Defend Myself against Marijuana Possession Charges?
If you were arrested for marijuana possession in the state, you may be wondering if it’s possible to have your penalties reduced or the charges dismissed. A criminal defense attorney can assess your situation and investigate the arrest to help develop strategies to dismantle the prosecution’s case against you. Possible defenses can include that the drugs were discovered during an illegal search, or that you did not know the substance in your possession was a controlled drug.
Discuss Your Case with Drug Crime Attorney in Stuart, Florida
If you were arrested for possessing or trafficking a controlled substance, it might be in your best interests to speak to a Stuart drug crime lawyer. Attorney Todd A. Kawecki’s experience as a former prosecutor has armed him with an intimate understanding of Florida’s laws, statutes, and court proceedings.
Todd can help fight for the best possible outcome, which might include the reduction of your penalties or the outright dismissal of your charges. Dial 772-485-4500 or skip over to our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation.