Will Marijuana Be Legalized In Florida?
While proponents of recreational marijuana use fought to put legalization on the ballot in 2020, Floridians will have to wait until at least 2022 to decide whether or not to legalize recreational marijuana in the state.
While proponents of recreational marijuana use fought to put legalization on the ballot in 2020, Floridians will have to wait until at least 2022 to decide whether or not to legalize recreational marijuana in the state. Until further changes in marijuana laws are made, recreational marijuana use remains illegal, but that does not mean all marijuana use in Florida is illegal.
When Is it Legal to Use Marijuana in Florida?
In 2017, Florida repealed its ban on the use of medical marijuana for patients with a qualifying health condition. These conditions include cancer, epilepsy, ALS, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and a terminal condition as diagnosed by a physician, among others.
If a doctor determines that the benefits of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential risks, he or she can prescribe marijuana to a patient. Prior to 2018, there was a ban on smoking the medication, but this ban was lifted and it is now legal to smoke marijuana for medical purposes.
Marijuana must be purchased from a Florida medical marijuana dispensary and patients are limited to receiving 2.5 ounces of whole flower cannabis every thirty-five days and cannot possess more than four ounces at a time.
There are additional conditions for patients under the age of eighteen, so you should check with your physician and a West Palm Beach marijuana attorney if you have any questions or concerns.
When Is it Iegal to Use Marijuana in Florida? What Are the Criminal Charges?
All recreational marijuana use is illegal in Florida. Marijuana possession can carry harsh penalties, including hefty fines and even prison time. If you are found in possession with the following amounts, these punishments may apply:
20 grams or less: misdemeanor or possible citation.
Possession of twenty grams or less of marijuana, delivery of less than twenty grams (without payment in exchange), and possession of marijuana paraphernalia are all misdemeanor offenses, which carry a penalty of up to one year in prison and a maximum fine of $1,000. In West Palm Beach, police have the option of issuing a civil violation notice in place of an arrest, for possession of twenty grams or less. However, this is up to the officer, so there is no guarantee possession will result in a fine as opposed to an arrest.
More than 20 grams: felony.
Possession or sale of more than twenty grams of marijuana is a felony. The sentence for possession increases depending on the amount, increasing with the more marijuana found. For example, possession of more than twenty grams (but less than twenty-five pounds) can result in a fine of up to $5,000 and five years of prison, while possession of 10,000 pounds or more carries a fine of up to $200,000 and a mandatory prison sentence of at least fifteen years.
In addition, most marijuana crimes include suspension of your driver’s licenses, even if you were not driving while under the influence of the drug.
Contact Our West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorneys for More Information
Florida marijuana laws are ever-evolving and while the trends indicate the state is open to more relaxed recreational use laws, the current penalties for recreational marijuana use remain harsh. Our West Palm Beach criminal defense attorneys are experienced in the nuances of these laws (including the impact on your criminal record) and are here to help.