Marijuana Laws

Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Florida Now?

Marijuana is being legalized for medical use in various states throughout the USA, but for the past few years American citizens have been confusing medical marijuana legal rights for recreational use and ending up arrested for marijuana possession. As a matter of fact, according to Jacksonville.com, the FBI stated that more people in the United States were arrested for pot in 2016 than all violent crimes combined.

Medical Marijuana laws in Florida

Marijuana Arrests in Florida for Recreational Use

In Florida, some cities (such as Orlando and Tampa) have reduced the penalty for being charged with using marijuana for recreational use to a mere $100 fine. In other Florida cities, using marijuana for non-medical purposes isn’t looked at as casually, but if someone is charged with marijuana possession and has never been arrested before, they may avoid going to jail (and having a criminal record) if they cooperate and complete a mandatory substance abuse program. However, the programs frequently also demand the person charged for marijuana possession pay costly fines, undergo probation and serve a set number of public service hours.

“Drive Baked, Get Busted”

Some Floridians are complaining that state lawmakers have dragged their feet on getting things moving for medical marijuana in Florida. However, those who have attended legislative meetings on the medical marijuana issue claim a lot of the procrastination is due to concern over establishing regulation for the public’s safety. This explains why the new campaign called ‘Drive Baked, Get Busted’ was created – to put the fear into patients who are prescribed medical marijuana not to drive while under the influence of their marijuana prescriptions.

Florida law enforcement are arranging ‘roadside sobriety’ tests to detect drivers under the influence of marijuana. However, no accurate roadside test is actually available scientifically to prove someone is unable to drive a vehicle due to digesting or smoking marijuana. Urine and blood tests are not going to work for immediate detection because THC (the chemical in pot which causes mind altering changes) stays in a person’s body anywhere from several days to months. Nonetheless, Florida police officers are convinced their own experience alone can detect someone who is under the influence of marijuana and too ‘baked’ to drive.

Signs Florida law enforcement officials are looking for when they suspect a driver is under the influence of marijuana include (but are not limited to):

  • Bloodshot, dilated or water eyes
  • Fluttering eyelids
  • Marijuana paraphernalia in vehicle
  • Sluggish reactions
  • Slurred speech
  • Smell of marijuana
  • Unable to cross eyes  

What are the Marijuana Laws in Florida?

  • Florida doctors are allowed to prescribe medical marijuana oils and digestibles to patients with ‘Chronic nonmalignant pain’ from ‘debilitating diseases or conditions’ as specified in the 2018 Florida Statutes, Chapter 381.

The statutes list specific diseases and conditions:

  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus Syndrome (HIV)
  • Amyotrophobic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer
  • Chron’s Disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • And other debilitating medical conditions (contingent upon your medical marijuana doctor). Minors may be prescribed medical marijuana with a written consent of their parent or legal guardian.
  • Any type of arrest involving a marijuana charge may result in a loss of driver’s license for one year.
  • If caught with possession or selling over twenty grams of marijuana you will be charged with a felony.
  • Those who are found possessing or selling anything less than twenty grams of marijuana will be classified as a misdemeanor arrest.
  • Anyone charged with possessing or selling any amount of THC concentrate will be classified as a felony arrest and susceptible to as much as a five-year prison sentence and costly fines.

 

Keep in mind, regardless of the new marijuana laws and Amendment 2 (’Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative’) which went into effect on January 3rd, 2017, if your name is not listed in the Florida Medical Marijuana Use Registry and you do not have a medical marijuana card, you should not have in your possession or be under the influence of marijuana at any time. But regardless of whether or not you have a medical marijuana card, no one is permitted to drive while under the influence.

Driving while baked is definitely a ‘no-no’. Florida legislators’ primary concern regarding legalizing marijuana in any capacity is about safety. The dangers involved when driving under the influence of marijuana has been at the top of their conversations while working on setting Amendment 2 into action. Florida lawmakers do not want citizens prescribed medical marijuana to be careless and drive while taking their prescriptions.

Florida Medical Marijuana Dispensaries DO NOT Sell Smokable Products

There is a long list of medical marijuana dispensaries now open in Florida. However, these dispensaries only sell marijuana pen oil, vape accessories and prescription pills. Smokable cannabis is NOT legal for medical or recreational purposes in the state of Florida.

If you are dealing with a chronic illness and believe using medical marijuana will help to relieve pain or increase your appetite, you should make an appointment with a Florida Medical Marijuana doctor before making the mistake of self-medicating without a legal prescription. Once you are added by your physician to the Medical Marijuana Use Registry, you are then eligible to legally buy medical marijuana in the state of Florida.

Posting Bail for a Marijuana Arrest in Florida

If you’ve been arrested for weed, such as selling, possession, to sell with intent, or driving while under the influence of marijuana, you will need a bail bond for your release from jail. Bail Bonds Now is available to help with bail bonds in Florida 24/7, 365 days per year. Call or text (561)-500-9999

Bail Bonds Now provides bail bonds for state and federal bonds, including immigration bonds.

 

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