Ft. Lauderdale, FL- Marijuana, once reviled as dangerous drug, no longer carries that stigma and is slowly becoming more acceptable. Pot is legal in for recreational use in two states, five states have decriminalized marijuana possession, and Florida may soon become the first Southern State to legalize medical marijuana. Or, will it?
Several polls taken over the past several months show that a majority of Floridians approve of legalizing medical marijuana for those suffering from seriously debilitating illnesses, but that majority may not be quite enough for Amendment 2 to become law. Averages from the polls put support between 50 percent and 60 percent.
In Florida, getting a constitutional amendment passed requires sixty percent of the vote in the upcoming elections and, although many of the stigmas in regards to marijuana are lifting, the typically Conservative Florida voter is unlikely to approve the legislation. But stranger things have a happened and the pro-medical marijuana lobby has been pumping millions of ad dollars into the state to get the measure passed.
If medical marijuana becomes legal in Florida—and that’s a big if—it would be closely regulated by the state and under much tighter regulations than in California, according to WTSP. Under Amendment 2, the Florida Department of Health would oversee the dispensaries and issue cards to patients.
Doctors who issued medical marijuana cards for minor medical problems like a headache could be in danger of losing their license. Making it unlikely that legalization in Florida would look anything like California where the regulations are far less restrictive and marijuana can be prescribed to a wider group of people.
Those opposed to Amendment 2 keep trotting out the same objections seen in other pot legalization battles. Fears that it would make the drug more available to young people and would dramatically increase fatal traffic accidents have popped up since advocates began their fight for legalization.
Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi have both expressed their dislike of the medical marijuana initiative. So have former state Supreme Court Justices, who joined forces with anti-Amendment 2 groups to help defeat the new initiative.
As it stands, the future of medical marijuana in Florida is uncertain, and we’ll just have to wait until November to see.
Even is medical marijuana is legal, many users still run the risk of getting in trouble with the law. Recreational use is strictly forbidden, possession is as well. Possessing less than 20 grams in Florida is a misdemeanor, but a person still faces up to a year in jail. Possessing any amount over 20 grams is a felony and can land a person in jail for up to five years.
Those with medical marijuana cards are still subject to the state’s DUI laws.
If you are facing any marijuana-related charge, a Ft. Lauderdale criminal defense attorney will be your best ally. Using their expansive legal knowledge, one of our superb criminal defense attorneys will to help you avoid the harsher penalties associated with a marijuana charge.