Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A. - Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer

Is medicinal marijuana legal in Florida?

In 2016, Florida voters approved Amendment 2. To an extent, this measure decriminalized medicinal marijuana so people with certain ailments could benefit from it. 

This does not mean marijuana has been completely decriminalized. Severe penalties still exist for citizens caught with marijuana on their person. Florida marijuana laws are a little tricky to follow, so here is some information about who can and cannot use the substance. 

Who can use medicinal marijuana?

Only those with specific ailments qualify. As of this writing, that includes citizens with the following.

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • ALS
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Epilepsy
  • Cancer
  • PTSD
  • Crohn's disease
  • Any other debilitating medical conditions

Additionally, people with these circumstances need to obtain their marijuana from a certified nursery. That means consumers cannot purchase marijuana from a friend and claim it is for medical purposes. Any who have approval from their doctors can technically buy the substance right now. 

Is marijuana legal for recreational purposes?

No. Recreational marijuana is still illegal in the state of Florida. The rules are beginning to become more lenient, but you want to be wary of this territory. 

Marijuana has become decriminalized in certain cities, such as Orlando. This means officers do not have to automatically arrest people if they have fewer than 20 grams of marijuana on them. Instead, the police officer can choose to issue a citation. The penalty varies depending on the offense, but for a first-time offender, it will likely be a $100 fine. In some instances, the fine can become waived if the person chooses to undergo a diversion program. 

Could marijuana become legalized in Florida in the near future?

It could be. The Florida Cannabis Act could go on the ballot in 2018. This proposed measure would make it legal for people over the age of 21 to carry up to one gram of marijuana. As of now, the initiative needs more signatures to make it on the ballot.  

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