Jacksonville Criminal Lawyer and the Florida Medical Marijuana Debate

Jacksonville Drug Lawyer

Will marijuana be legal in Florida?

As a Jacksonville criminal lawyer, I have represented many people arrested for drug charges in Jacksonville FL.  When people think of drug charges, they usually think of felony crimes like possession of cocaine or ecstasy.  They think of more serious offenses like drug trafficking.  You can have a drug charge on your record after being arrested for a more minor crime.  Sometimes, you do not even need to be arrested.  Jacksonville possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor if you were in possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis.  Police may issue a notice to appear citation instead of arresting you, but this will still show up on a Florida criminal background check.  The same is true for possession of paraphernalia in Jacksonville.  This could change for some people that would like to start using medical marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Channel 4 News in Jacksonville reported:

“With just two days left until the Florida Supreme Court hears arguments on both sides of the medical marijuana debate, the intensity is picking up among supporters in Jacksonville who are trying to collect nearly 700,000 signatures to get the issue on the ballot.  The debate could come to an end quickly though if the Supreme Court rules with the Attorney General’s office.”

The Florida Supreme Court will hear oral arguments tomorrow, “with more than 80 percent of Floridians already approving, according to a Quinnipiac poll.”  Still, the Florida Attorney General’s Office has stated that “the true purpose [of the petition] is outright legalization” of marijuana.  Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi has not recently commented on the issue, because of the upcoming oral arguments.  Her brief did make it clear that the Attorney General’s Office fears a slippery slope. “Bondi said the wording on the initiative is unclear and would open up the floodgate for rampant use of the medical marijuana program.”

Those Jacksonville residents that oppose the legalization of marijuana for medical reasons have stated, “I think it’s a bad idea because a lot of people don’t have self-control.”  One woman told Channel 4 News, “It’s already bad enough on the streets. I don’t know about bringing it for medical. It will probably cause more problems.”

There are Jacksonville residents who are proponents for a change in the cannabis laws.  People have admitted to using marijuana as a pain reliever.  People have reasoned, “We’ve got over-addictive drugs like oxycodone; versus marijuana, it’s not so bad.”  As a Jacksonville criminal attorney, I have met many people addicted to prescription medication.  I have represented people charged with doctor shopping, because they were trying to obtain more medications.  I will agree.  There are many prescription medications on the market that are highly addictive.  These medications can turn a housewife or businessman into a drug addict, but does this mean that we should legalize marijuana usage under certain circumstances?  You can watch the Florida Supreme Court oral arguments live on wfsu.org. There will be good arguments for and against medical marijuana legalization.

The important thing to remember is that marijuana is not legal in Florida.  It does not matter if you smoke marijuana for a medical condition.  It is illegal.  If you get caught possessing marijuana, you will be arrested or issued a criminal ticket.  If this does occur, contact a Jacksonville criminal attorney at 20 Miles Law.  You may call (904) 564-2525 to speak with a Jacksonville lawyer with experience defending drug cases.


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