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Florida Recreational & Medical Marijuana Laws

What's the real status on Florida marijuana laws?

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Florida marijuana laws

Marijuana was still illegal under federal law. However, recent statewide changes have legalized the use and possession of medical marijuana for as long as a person has obtained a license to use medical marijuana. Furthermore, in some Florida cities, possessing small amounts of marijuana has been decriminalized and will result in a quote payable rather than an arrest. This confuses the waters regarding understanding the law, as there may be different rules in different areas.

Florida law on medical marijuana

A qualified physician may prescribe the medical marijuana for specific medical conditions in Florida.

These conditions include cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, MS, and other similar conditions. In addition, a qualified physician must be certified to order THC cannabis, medical marijuana, and devices used to administer marijuana.

The law is complex and still evolving in Florida. In 2014, Florida legislature passed a law intended to introduce medical-grade marijuana, which is lower in THC and higher in the Cannabidiol. The purpose was to target distribution for the medical purposes only. Epilepsy and other similar disorders were treated with the medical marijuana.

In 2016, the program was relaxed a bit, and terminally ill patients were allowed to get medical marijuana, even those with higher levels of THC. With the passage of Amendment 2 in Florida, medical marijuana, in full force, became legal and more cases were allowed to be treated.

Florida law on recreational use is legal

After years of backtracking, several members of the US House of Representatives have proposed federal legislation in a joint effort to decriminalize and fully allow recreational use of pot throughout the United States. Still, steps in the Senate have been less strident.

Finally, on April 1, the House of Representatives passed a bill to decriminalize marijuana. The bill called the Marijuana Reinvestment and Delisting Act would remove marijuana from the list of scheduled substances in the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 and eliminate the existing criminal penalty for those who manufacture, distribute or own marijuana. Florida Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL1) was the bill’s sole Republican sponsor before the House voted to pass it.

Florida Law on the Use of CBD Oils

CBD oils containing 0.3% THC are legal under federal law. However, Florida law enforcement can still arrest you for possession and use at this time. “The situation is a bit hazy at the moment,” said criminal defense attorney Finley Williams.

Criminal defense attorney Finley Williams and the law offices of John Phillips have already filed five cases in the past month from people, some of whom have been arrested for possessing oils they thought were legal due to federal law. In the last session, Florida legislature passed Senate Bill 1020 that would allow the use of CBD oils containing up to 0.3% THC but would not be legal until after July 1. “Right now, owning CBD oil is illegal, and after July 1, it will be legal,” Williams said. If you have a prescription, you can use the oils now, but you’ll want to get your cure.

“Unfortunately, law enforcement is a bit slow to catch up with their field tests, so unless you have a prescription, you won’t know if it’s less than 0.3 or more than 0.3.”

Florida Marijuana Penalties

In Florida, marijuana possession of up to 20 grams is considered a misdemeanor. It is punishable by up to one year in prison and a maximum fine of $1,000. Possession between 20 grams and 25 pounds is a felony in Florida. It can result in up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. If the defendant had a cannabis plant, he would face dire consequences.

The possible penalty depends on the number of plants, with less than 25 plants resulting in up to 5 years imprisonment with a fine of up to $5,000 to more than 2,000 plants resulting in a mandatory minimum penalty of seven years and up to 30 years and $50,000 fine.

Florida Marijuana Laws in relation to the US Federal Government

As stated before, the US federal government still considers marijuana use illegal for United States citizens, immigrants and tourists. While the federal government still calls marijuana an illegal drug, they have left most enforcement of marijuana law to the US States, partly because the federal government has more important things to deal with on a daily basis. This gives Florida the power to mostly set and enforce its own marijuana laws regarding recreational and medical marijuana usage, possession and distribution.

Florida Law and other US States

Florida's marijuana and CBD laws and penalties are unique to Florida. Every U.S. State has a different legal stance involving medical marijuana, recreational marijuana and CBD products. The states that prohibit certain aspects of marijuana also have varying penalties for violation of their laws.

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