Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Florida?

legalize-medical-marijuana-in-floridaMarijuana is currently illegal in Florida. Possession of 20-grams or less is a misdemeanor. An offender can receive up to 1 year in jail with a fine of $1,000. Possession of 20g but less than 25g, is considered a felony and can hold a maximum-penalty of up to 5 years in prison with a fine of $5,000. For any amount over 25g, the crime is considered a felony and carries a maximum sentence of up to 15 years in prison with a fine of $10,000. The offender will also lose his/her driver’s license for 6 months-2years for any drug related offense.

Florida penalties for the possessing of small amounts of marijuana are some of the most draconian penalties in the nation. Sadly, most of the damages that are caused by these highly inappropriate criminal laws are dis-proportionately placed on Florida’s African-American population. According to a recent study by ACLU, the African Americans who live in Florida are typically over 4 times more-likely to be arrested with marijuana related charges as compared to their white neighbors.

Florida normally increases the sentence-for any sale of drugs that is within 1,000-feet of a church, school or daycare; a mandatory minimum sentence is usually attached. For housing locations, universities and public parks, the distance is set at 200 ft. Momentum has gradually been gaining for legalization of medical marijuana in Miami Beach. It has since been placed on the coming November 2014 ballot. Shortly before adjourning 2014’s legislative session, florida-lawmakers passed a bill which will exempt a limited-group of sick people from the criminal laws for the use of medical marijuana which is low in THC & high-in CBD if some set requirements are met. Governor Rick Scott stated that he will sign in the bill. The law however, leaves many sick patients behind and it may not even help those it is meant to.

Cultivation & sale of medical marijuana is currently prohibited in Florida. Delivery or sale of 20g or less is termed as a misdemeanor and can carry up to one year in jail. It also carries a $1,000 fine. All amounts of 25-pounds or less are considered a felony, and carry a maximum of 5-years in prison with a $10,000 fine. Possession of quantities between 25 pounds and 2,000 pounds or 2,000-plants are considered a felony and carry a minimum mandatory-sentence of 5 years in prison with a $25,000-fine. For amounts between 2,000 and 25,000 pounds or 10,000-plants, the crime is termed-as a felony and typically comes with a minimum mandatory-sentence of 7 years with a $50,000 fine. Cultivating/growing or selling 10,000-pounds or 10,000-plants or more is also considered a felony and carries a mandatory minimum-sentence of 115 years with a $200,000 fine.

The bill will allow patients with cancer & conditions which result in chronic-seizures or severe muscle-spasms to use medical marijuana that has or contains 0.8 percent THC or lower, & 10 percent CBD or higher. The patients can administer or take the medical marijuana via pills or oils, or vaporization but smoking is prohibited. The marijuana bill also needs the state to officially register 5 dispensing-businesses, which should be spread-out across Florida to cultivate/grow and dispense medical marijuana. The bill however places a heavy-burden on any physician who wishes to recommend medical marijuana to his/her patients. Florida took a tiny step-forward this year, but we still can’t term Florida as a “medical marijuana-state.” However, Florida voters will have an opportunity to enact a new comprehensive and workable medical marijuana-law this November by-voting “yes” on Amendment 2.

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