October 5, 2014
This November, Florida could become the 21st state, and first Southern state, to legalize the use of medical marijuana. This law could mean big changes for the state of Florida who, up until recently, banned all marijuana. The decision will be left in the hands of Florida voters, who will choose the fate of medical marijuana.
The Current Marijuana Policy
Currently, the sale, possession and cultivation of marijuana is illegal in the state of Florida. It is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning that is believed to have a high abuse rate with no medical use. The penalties for possession depend on the amount of marijuana a person has on them, and can vary from misdemeanor to felony.
There have been some recent changes regarding the marijuana policy in Florida. In June, Governor Rick Scott signed a bill allowing patients access to cannabis oil low in THC and high in CBD. This kind of cannabis, dubbed Charlotte’s Web, has been proven to stop seizures and reduce nausea. The drug will only be prescribed to patients with epilepsy and cancer as a “last resort” treatment option.
The drug will only be available in oil form, and there will be extreme restrictions for those who can receive and dispense the drug. This means that marijuana will still be illegal for the vast majority of Floridians, and only those with the most severe medical condition will have access to the drug.
Florida residents placed the Medical Marijuana bill on the ballot this November by collecting over 600,000 signatures. The bill will only pass if at least 60% of voters vote in favor of the bill. This should not be difficult, as a recent poll showed that 88% of Floridians are in favor of the law, and only 10% are against.
The law would legalize marijuana for anyone suffering from a debilitating medical condition. The proposed bill specifically states that this will include anyone with “cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, hepatitis C, HIV, AIDS, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or other conditions for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.”
It will also grant caregivers of patients access to the drug. All those who get a prescription for marijuana will have to join a statewide registry, and be given an identification card.
While there may very soon be changes to the law regarding marijuana, currently marijuana is illegal in the state of Florida. If you or anyone you know has been charged with a drug related crime, call the experienced attorneys at KLG. We are up to date with the latest news and information on drug laws and charges, meaning we are the best choice to defend your rights.