Two weeks ago, I wrote an article on the Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers website about medical marijuana. The article was called Jacksonville Criminal Lawyer and the Florida Medical Marijuana Debate, and it was about legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes. The Florida Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the issue as to whether or not Florida residents would be able to vote on the use of medical marijuana. The FL Supreme Court has not rendered a decision, but the issue is still in the news. Fox News of Jacksonville reported:
“Hundreds of medical marijuana supporters gathered across the state Saturday for what they called a day of action. Volunteers collected petitions from residents who wish to see the debate on marijuana’s usage reach the November ballot. The group has until Feb. 1 to gather about 700,000 signatures from Floridians wishing to see the issue come to a vote. The Florida Supreme Court is looking into the legality of the proposed wording that would be on the ballot. Some, including State Attorney General Pam Bondi, allege the proposed ballot language is too broad. People United For Medical Marijuana said opponents are twisting the truth and preventing the sick from legally obtaining help. The Supreme Court hasn’t indicated when it will rule on the language.”
After posting the Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys blog on the issue, I noticed that this subject matter attracted a lot of attention from both ends of the spectrum. I was surprised at the amount of people that did support the medical use of marijuana. The Florida Times Union stated:
“If Florida residents are given a chance to vote on legalizing medical marijuana, the provision will likely pass by a landslide. A Quinnipiac University poll out this past week found that Floridians support legalizing pot for medicinal purposes by a 82-16 margin. ‘If the folks who want to legalize medical marijuana in Florida can get their proposal on the ballot, they are overwhelmingly favored to prevail,’ said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University polling institute. The group pushing the proposed constitutional amendment, Citizens United for Medical Marijuana, needs roughly 700,000 signatures to get the measure on the ballot. The group is chaired by trial attorney John Morgan, who is a big supporter of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist. Because of this, some see political motivations behind the initiative. Governor’s mansion politics aside, however, if the measure gets on the ballot, it will have support from voters of all political stripes. That strong support could help explain why there has been little public opposition to the plan.”
Although the medical marijuana legalization seems to have support from different members of the community, it is still illegal to possess marijuana in Jacksonville FL. It is a violation of Florida Statute Section 893.13(6)(b). Most possession of cannabis cases are misdemeanors, because people that use marijuana for personal reasons usually on get caught with 20 grams or less. This Florida cannabis law states:
“If the offense is the possession of not more than 20 grams of cannabis, as defined in this chapter, or 3 grams or less of a controlled substance described in s. 893.03(1)(c)46.-50., 114.-142., 151.-159., or 166.-169., the person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. For the purposes of this subsection, ‘cannabis’ does not include the resin extracted from the plants of the genus Cannabis, or any compound manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such resin, and a controlled substance described in s. 893.03(1)(c)46.-50., 114.-142., 151.-159., or 166.-169., does not include the substance in a powdered form.”
While possessing less than 20 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor, it is still a serious offense. It could lead to jail, probation, a criminal conviction, and a suspended Florida drivers license. You should talk to a Jacksonville criminal attorney about your case. Call 20 Miles Law at (904) 564-2525 to speak with a Jacksonville criminal lawyer.