Marijuana laws have become a hot-button issue. Public support for the drug is higher than ever, and several states have voted to either decriminalize or legalize its use.
You probably know that marijuana is still illegal in Florida. Though the state did vote to legalize medical cannabis in 2016, recreational use is still prohibited. If you are interested in the future of marijuana in our state, look no further: We have compiled a list of five important facts that you should know about Florida's marijuana laws.
Misdemeanor vs. felony possession
Possessing less than 20 grams of weed is considered a misdemeanor; possessing over 20 grams, however, is a felony. First-time offenders with no previous criminal record are sometimes offered drug programs instead of harsher penalties, but misdemeanor possession is still a serious criminal offense.
Medical marijuana is legal... but don't smoke it
In 2016, the state passed a constitutional amendment allowing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. A licensed physician may prescribe marijuana to individuals who struggle with a debilitating disease or comparable debilitating condition. Patients may only ingest or vape the drug, though: Smoking it is illegal.
Driver's license revocation
Florida can suspend your driver's license for a marijuana-related conviction, even if it had nothing to do with your ability to drive. If you are pulled over by a cop and have marijuana in your possession, you could lose your driver's license- even if you weren't high and didn't commit a traffic violation.
Fifteen years for selling weed?
For anyone who has previously been convicted of selling more than 20 grams of marijuana, the penalties can be severe. It may seem harsh, but someone who is convicted a second time of selling more than 20 grams of weed could be sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Buds and bills
Jail time is only one possible consequence: Another is a hefty fine. In marijuana trafficking cases-cases that involve over 25 pounds of marijuana-the potential fines range from $25,000 to $200,000. That's some expensive weed.