In the state of Florida, the use of recreational marijuana is still prohibited by law. However, medical marijuana has recently been permitted in specific cases of illness and with certain diagnoses. If you have been charged with a marijuana drug crime in FL, you may be concerned about potential fines and penalties. In some cases, you may even be facing felony charges.
Unlike many other states, Florida has not yet decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Although the Sunshine State has made little effort to decriminalize the substance, several of its cities have reduced the penalty for marijuana possession to a citation. These cities include Key West, Tampa, Orlando, and Miami. Despite the lesser penalties, a citation still results in a mandatory court appearance.
If you are facing any type of drug charge in Florida, the skilled legal team at the Law Office of Nayib Hassan can help. We have been protecting the rights of individuals charged with misdemeanor and felony drug crimes for more than 16 years, and we have an impressive track record of getting those charges reduced or dismissed. Contact us today for a confidential consultation about your case.
What is Classified as Medical Marijuana?
Medical Marijuana is intended for relief of symptoms related to a qualifying illness, rather than for purposes of enjoyment. In order to create a discrepancy in the definition of such uses, medical marijuana is closely regulated and its effects are measured. Generally speaking, medical marijuana is prescribed with minimal amounts of THC when compared to its recreational counterpart. This lesser amount of marijuana’s primary psychoactive component is intended to have the lowest effect possible while still masking the symptoms it aims to relieve.
Illnesses That May Qualify for a Medical Marijuana Prescription
Medical Marijuana is prescribed by professionals as an alleviate for chronic illness and is regulated as such. Examples of chronic conditions that could warrant a prescription for medical marijuana include:
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Crohn’s Disease
- Chronic Pain
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Pain from Terminal Illness
Users of medical marijuana may only purchase from registered Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers and must pay a patient fee of $75 before obtaining any marijuana. Although there is no legal age to obtain a medical marijuana prescription, if the patient is under 18 years of age they must have a person over the age of 21 purchase and administer the medical marijuana. This individual is known as the caregiver and must be registered by the Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU).
What is Classified as Recreational Marijuana?
Recreational marijuana is generally used for personal enjoyment rather than as a form of pain relief. Unlike medical marijuana, recreational is not prescribed and is currently illegal in the state of Florida. It is very difficult to regulate recreational marijuana.
Penalties For Marijuana Possession
Various states have begun decriminalizing the usage and possession of marijuana. This means that if an individual is found possessing or using small quantities of recreational marijuana it will not go on their record, they will not be arrested, and they will not serve jail time.
Florida, however, remains obsolete in its laws regarding recreational marijuana use and has not begun to decriminalize the substance. In fact, marijuana possession can even result in a felony charge, depending on the circumstances of the case. The current penalties for marijuana possession in Florida include:
- If you are found in possession of less than or equal to 20 grams of marijuana, you could be charged with a misdemeanor for possession. Such a charge could result in a $1000 fine and up to one year in jail.
- If you are found to be in possession of upward of 20 grams, the charge could be raised from a misdemeanor to a felony. This could potentially mean up to five years in jail and a fine of approximately $5,000.
- If you are found to be in possession of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, you will almost certainly be charged with a felony. This is punishable with up to $10,000 and 15 years in prison.
Penalties For Selling and Growing Marijuana in FL
If a person is found to be growing marijuana, they will be punished based on the number of plants that they possess. If the individual has less than 25 plants, they could face five years in jail, along with a fine of up to $5,000. If they are growing marijuana with the intent to sell, however, it would be considered a third-degree felony with a punishment of up to $5,000 in fines and up to five years in jail.
As with all criminal charges, the penalties change in relation to the size of the offense. An experienced FL marijuana defense attorney can help you determine how to proceed.
Penalties For Marijuana Trafficking
Individuals found to be knowingly selling, buying, or growing more than 25 pounds of marijuana can be charged with a first-degree felony. This offense is punishable by up to 30 years in jail. The penalties of trafficking vary, but the mandatory minimum sentence if convicted is three years imprisonment.
It is also considered trafficking to bring marijuana to Florida from a surrounding state, a crime that is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Contact the Law Office of Nayib Hassan Today
Due to the decriminalization of marijuana in many states, and the lack of decriminalization efforts in Florida, the laws and penalties for marijuana-related offenses remain disproportionately severe in the Sunshine State. If you have been charged with a marijuana crime, or any other drug-related offense, Attorney Nayib Hassan can help.
Attorney Hassan has protected the rights of countless individuals charged with drug crimes, and he will fight tirelessly to protect your rights, reputation, and freedom. Working with an experienced Florida drug crimes attorney is essential if you’ve been charged with a marijuana-related offense. Don’t attempt to go through this stressful process without skilled legal counsel by your side. Contact the Law Office of Nayib Hassan today for a confidential consultation about your case.