Many states around the country have recently passed laws legalizing both medical and recreational marijuana use, creating a confusing situation around the country as the laws regarding marijuana can widely differ from state to state. Despite the fact that Amendment Two, which supported the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida, passed with an overwhelming amount of votes in the election of 2016, the state of Florida is still grappling with largely misunderstood laws when it comes to the legal use of medical marijuana.
It's important to remember that even though lawmakers have expanded the legal use of medical marijuana in the state since the passage of Amendment Two, there are still many restrictions on the purchase and use of cannabis in Florida. To avoid being caught with illegal pot and risk being charged with a crime, residents throughout the state should pay close attention to the laws surrounding this issue.
What was the purpose of Amendment Two?
In the state of Florida, the purpose of Amendment Two was to expand the number of patients who could access marijuana to help alleviate some adverse medical conditions. This amendment made full-strength marijuana legal by prescription, and it also broadened the definition of a "debilitating medical condition" that qualifies for a medical marijuana prescription.
How do you get medical marijuana?
To be eligible to receive this type of drug, a physician who is certified to prescribe the drug must prescribe it for you. Currently, there are over 1,300 doctors in the state of Florida who can prescribe marijuana. As of April 20, 2018, there were over 100,000 Floridians who qualify to legally obtain it with a prescription. This number could increase by as much as 3,000 people a week.
Can I legally smoke marijuana in Florida?
The answer is no. In the state of Florida, it is still illegal to smoke or grow your own cannabis, and the Florida Department of Health is still working on rules for the edible form of this substance.
Currently, the legal forms of medical marijuana include creams, sprays, and vaporizers.
Marijuana Possession is Still a Crime in the State of Florida
If you do not have a prescription to use medical marijuana in the state of Florida, you can still be charged with a crime for possessing marijuana. Even if you do have a legal prescription for marijuana, you are prohibited from smoking it or growing it and may be charged with a crime if you are found to be doing either. Additionally, it is still completely illegal to smoke cannabis in public in the state of Florida, regardless of medical condition.
Laws about medical marijuana may be changing rapidly in the state of Florida, so it's vitally important that Floridians, especially those requiring medical treatment with marijuana, pay attention to where the issue stands.
If you are arrested and charged with marijuana possession, you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your attorney can help you understand the laws with regards to marijuana, and help you work on a defense in your case.
Arnold, K. (2018, April 30). Florida's young medical marijuana industry takes off. Retrieved from http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/consumer/os-bz-medical-marijuana-shops-20180426-story.html
Cordeiro, M. (2018, May 01). Florida has new, complex marijuana laws. Here's what they really mean. Retrieved from https://www.orlandoweekly.com/orlando/florida-has-new-complex-marijuana-laws-heres-what-they-really-mean/Content?oid=3889964