Is Marijuana Still a Criminal Offense in Florida?

Marijuana is slowly becoming decriminalized across the country. The majority of states have made cannabis legal for medical purposes and a handful of states allow recreational use of the plant as well. While Florida allows medical marijuana use, the state still considers recreational use of the substance to be a drug-related criminal offense.

While recreational use of the drug may become legal in Florida in the future, it’s important to understand the current penalties for possessing and selling marijuana. If you’re caught with less than twenty grams of marijuana in your possession, it’s considered a misdemeanor, which can lead to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The same goes for the sale of fewer than twenty grams of the substance.

However, if you’re caught possessing or selling anything more than twenty grams, including marijuana plants, you can be charged with a felony and spend between five and thirty years in prison. The fines for these penalties can range from $5,000 to $200,000 as well.

What is Allowed

While marijuana is illegal for recreational purposes, medical marijuana use is still legal as mentioned above. It’s also important to note that the state of Florida allows hemp products and CBD products, which are derived from the cannabis plant but contain less than three percent THC. THC is the ingredient in the cannabis plant which produces psychoactive effects.

Because the cannabis plant can be beneficial in many ways, using it in its legal forms is okay, but until marijuana is recreationally legalized in Florida, obeying the law will keep you out of trouble.

If You Get Caught with Marijuana

Even though marijuana is taken less seriously because other states are decriminalizing the substance, Florida still considers marijuana drug use, possession, and sale a serious criminal offense. If you’ve been charged by the police with a marijuana possession or sale offense in any large metropolitan area, such as Tampa Bay, it’s essential that you get in touch with a Tampa criminal defense attorney.

A criminal defense attorney can investigate your case and try to reduce your charges or your sentencing as much as possible. While there are no guarantees that the outcome of your case will change, having the support of an experienced lawyer on your side will be beneficial. Without a lawyer by your side, you’ll feel alone throughout the legal process and have no one there to fight for you.

Hopefully, understanding the marijuana laws in Florida can keep you out of trouble until the state decides to make the drug legal for recreational use, and, if you do get into trouble, you’ll know who to call.