There are sweeping changes regarding marijuana laws across the country, with more states and municipalities all over the U.S. de-criminalizing or legalizing marijuana the use for medical and recreational purposes. In Florida, however, this drug is still considered an illegal controlled substance, and the penalties for possessing or selling it can be harsh. As a result of the de-criminalizing and legalizing of marijuana in other states, the defenses to Florida marijuana laws surrounding possession, sale and other aspects of this substance have become more complex and available to defendants.
Florida Marijuana Laws – Possession
The key law that most people need to understand is that the weight of the marijuana is key. If you are found to be in possession of a small amount of cannabis, 20 grams or under, the charge is a misdemeanor carrying a maximum fine of $1,000 and incarceration for up to one year.
Possessing higher amounts of the substance carries a felony charge and prison terms of anywhere from three to 30 years in prison, depending on the amount of plants or processed cannabis carried, as well as fines ranging from $5,000 all the way up to $200,000.
In all cases, conviction of marijuana law violations carries a driver's license suspension of up to one year's time. Also, today's wax, waxes, THC concentrate, concentrate liquids, and liquid forms of THC are included in Florida marijuana laws.
Sale of Cannabis
Selling marijuana, wax, or THC concentrate in Florida is a serious crime. If the sale is of up to 20 grams of the drug, jail time for up to 1 year and fines of up to $1,000 accompany the misdemeanor charge. As with possession, for amounts greater than 20g, you will face felony charges and up to 30 years in prison with up to $200,000 in fines. The penalties are also more severe if you are within 1,000 feet of a college, park, school or certain other specified areas.
Hashish and Concentrates like Wax and Concentrated Liquids (Concentrates)
Hashish is a concentrated form of cannabis which is much more potent than the raw form of the drug. Possession and sale of concentrated and processed forms of marijuana carry felony charges and penalties of $5,000 in fines and up to 5 years in prison for those found guilty.
Many people make the mistake of believing that if they don't have the drug itself on their person, they cannot be charged with a crime. In Florida, possession of drug paraphernalia alone can be enough to result in criminal charges and penalties. If you are convicted of paraphernalia in Florida, you may face a misdemeanor charge carrying $1,000 in fines and jail time of up to one year.
Do you know how the laws and penalties surrounding marijuana possession in Florida differ from other States?
Drug laws are serious business, and you should never think you can defend yourself against these charges. If you face arrest and charging of drug charges, the first thing you should do is seek the counsel of a professional, experienced criminal defense attorney. A Florida criminal defense lawyer will be able to make sure that your rights are protected every step of the way. They may also be able to help you get the charges lessened or dropped.