When it comes to drug “possession” offenses, many states are developing more liberal policies. As of this writing, (18) states plus the District of Columbia have passed laws authorizing legal medical marijuana. (9) other states have decriminalized possession. (Violators are subject only to a civil financial penalty.) Colorado and Washington state have taken it a step further by outright legalizing the sale and possession of of marijuana; for both medical and non-medical usage.
Possession of cannabis remains a criminal offense in the federal court system, creating somewhat of a conflict in enforcement. However, in southeastern states such as South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida, there is no confusion… possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia laws have remained unchanged for decades.
Florida’s current marijuana laws are being challenged as “out-dated” and viewed as akin to the prohibition of alcohol in 1919… which was, of course, ultimately repealed. Twenty-five other states are currently entertaining forty-five different Bills dealing with marijuana. The proposed legislation includes approving medical marijuana, all the way to full legalization. This nation-wide approach to marijuana legislation has begun influencing a cultural change of attitude even in the “Sunshine State.” Consider the following factors:
- A People United poll recently revealed that seven out of ten Floridians are now in favor of a new law that would legalize medical marijuana.
- Strong financial support is taking place to back a new initiative to legalize medical marijuana in Florida. (See Fox news video)
Although forces are hard at work in Florida in an effort to legalize medical marijuana, a lawmaker who introduced such a Bill in the last legislative session, failed miserably in his effort to get the legislation passed. But, this has not deterred continued efforts to collect 700,000 signatures to get a marijuana constitutional amendment on Florida’s November 2014 ballot.
Synthetic Cannabinoids – “Spice” Reduced to Misdemeanor
(Possessing 3 Grams or Less)
The Florida Legislature, did however taken affirmative action with respect to Synthetic Marijuana by demoting possession from a felony drug offense to a misdemeanor status. This change in classification can have far reaching affects on our clients.
Trafficking in Synthetic Cannabinoids & Cathinones
Synthetic Cannabinoids (Spice) and Cathinones (Bath Salts) (are not listed within the provisions of the drug trafficking statute (Florida Statutes Section 893.135). Therefore, Florida’s drug trafficking statutes cannot be applied with respect to these substances. This of course, would not preclude prosecution for the felony offenses of selling, manufacturing, delivering, or possessing with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver. It would also be a felony if you were charged with “purchasing” these substances.
Arrested for a Pinellas Drug Offense?
We are Lawyers Who Can Help!
We represent a large number of clients arrested and charged with drug offenses in the St. Petersburg / Clearwater area. As a result, we are in an excellent position, to tailor a strategy designed to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. In many situations, a client’s criminal charge can be resolved in such a way that they may be eligible to have their records of arrest sealed or expunged.
Are You Facing a Pinellas Drug Charge?
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