Florida, Marijuana & the Law in 2018
HOW THE SUNSHINE STATE'S LAW STACK UP AGAINST
by Kim Bryce
Social and legal attitudes to marijuana use vary greatly between every US state, with 30 now having legalized marijuana in certain circumstances, such as for medical reasons or occasional recreational use. In Louisiana and West Virginia only cannabis based oils and tablets are legal, while California law now allows anyone over 21 years old to have up to one ounce of marijuana and up to six plants at their home without breaking the law; and Vermont is said to be following suit from this summer.
Florida’s marijuana legislation: how does it compare?
There are three major approaches any state can take on this issue. In brief these are:
- Criminalization: allowing no legally justifiable option for possessing or using marijuana, regardless of quantity or reason.
- Legalization: creating parameters which allow certain groups of people to keep and use a regulated amount of marijuana in specific places (say at recreationally at home, or as a medically prescribed substance).
- Decriminalization: a situation where the laws still stand but are not generally applied in cases where the amount of marijuana is small and obviously or personal use only.
In Florida marijuana possession remains illegal. Although adults charged with possessing around an ounce for personal consumption for the first time may get away with a misdemeanor charge they also risk a fine, and up to a year in jail. Amounts between 21g and 25 pounds carry a maximum 5 year jail sentence and a bigger fine, with automatic time behind bars and a huge fine for anything more as it is classed as trafficking.
Florida law and medical use marijuana
There is some provision for medically prescribed marijuana use. In 2014 the ‘Charlotte’s Web’ bill allowed epilepsy patients use of a specially cultivated strain which may help control their condition without making them high. Two years later this was extended to enable doctors to prescribe any type of marijuana available to those with terminal illnesses. Amendment 2 added other serious conditions such as HIV, Parkinson’s, and PTSD to the list.
Medical marijuana is grown and distributed by a handful of strictly regulated companies, and users are still subject to the general laws, meaning they are restricted to using it in private locations. For many addicts, they need to turn to resources such as how to stop smoking pot to quit smoking weed in the state of Florida.
Other potential public nuisance legislation
Almost like a reversed mirror image of quasi-legal marijuana usage rules, Florida’s legal approach to tobacco means pretty much all enclosed public spaces like restaurants and work spaces are smoke free, while many shared outside space such as beaches and parks have no restriction. In some areas bars which serve very limited food menus are eligible to apply for a waiver which allows smoking inside. Those who prefer electronic cigarettes fare better, with vaping being allowed in most bars regardless, although expect the rules on smoking tobacco inside to be liberally applied to vaping.
US marijuana laws are being changed and tweaked all the time, and although Florida is not as liberal as some states who knows how things will be even a year from now.
Kim Bryce, from Smoke Guru likes to go on adventures and learn about new cultures. Kim now works as a content writer providing great pieces that relate to her company and the partners that she works closely with.