Understanding the current marijuana laws in Florida

On Behalf of | Jan 8, 2024 | Firm News

Florida’s relationship with marijuana has evolved over the years, especially as more U.S. states have relaxed their laws banning the substance. But while many people across the country have warmed up to the recreational use of marijuana (also called cannabis), what does Florida have to say about it?

Whether you’re a Florida resident or a visitor, understanding these laws can help you navigate the complexities of what is legal.

Medical marijuana is permissible with restrictions

Under current state law, marijuana used for medical purposes is perfectly legal. However, a qualified physician must first add an eligible patient to the medical marijuana use registry before the patient can purchase any cannabis.

Only patients diagnosed with the following medical conditions are eligible for registration:

  • AIDS
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Chronic nonmalignant pain
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Positive diagnosis for HIV
  • PTSD
  • Terminal conditions

Once a physician enters a patient’s data into the registry, the patient is issued a medical marijuana use registry ID card. This card allows them to buy from licensed treatment centers. Purchasing medical marijuana without a card or buying from an unlicensed seller is a crime.

Recreational marijuana is still illegal

On the other hand, Florida still prohibits the use of cannabis for recreational purposes. The penalties are as follows:

  • Possession of 20 grams or less: This misdemeanor offense is punishable by up to a year in jail and $1,000 in fines.
  • Possession of more than 20 grams: The offense becomes a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines. It’s also a felony to possess marijuana plants for recreational use.

Both Florida residents and visitors need to stay informed about the latest statutes on marijuana use. An honest mistake of bringing over recreational cannabis from a state that legalized it can lead to lasting consequences. If you face marijuana-related charges, consider looking for a legal professional for help. An attorney can help protect your rights in court and prepare your defense.