As the law stands, you cannot possess marijuana in Jacksonville. Even if medical marijuana would help you with a medical condition, it is still illegal to possess marijuana in Florida. Amendment 2 could have changed the law if it were approved, but the proposed amendment fell short. “Amendment 2, a measure that would have allowed medical marijuana, was rejected by Florida voters after failing to get 60 percent of the vote.”
There were certainly mixed feelings about the proposed amendment and legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Initially, it seemed as if the law would pass due to the support of residents in Jacksonville and all over Florida. Last December, polls were showing that medical marijuana would be approved by a landslide. Read Medical Marijuana Support in Jacksonville for details. Just last month, polls were showing declining support for Amendment 2. Read Legalizing Marijuana in Florida for more on this story.
Although Amendment 2 came very close to passing, medical marijuana is still prohibited in Florida. Many people that opposed the legalization of medical marijuana did so due to problems with the way the amendment was written. For example, the Tampa Bay Times reported this one month ago:
“Supporters of a constitutional amendment to allow medical marijuana in Florida have made a good-faith effort to help people in severe pain. No one wants to see family members, friends or neighbors suffer. But this well-intentioned attempt to provide relief is not the way to address this difficult issue. Amendment 2 is too broad, and voters should reject it…. First, the amendment plays too fast and loose with the conditions a patient must have to get a doctor’s approval for medical marijuana. Cancer, glaucoma, HIV or multiple sclerosis are among the eight diseases that are specifically listed as debilitating diseases that qualify. But the amendment also allows doctors to recommend marijuana use for “other conditions for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.” That leaves a gaping loophole for even well-meaning doctors to exploit. Other states that have legalized medical marijuana have a closed list of treatable conditions and require approval by a state agency such as the health department to make additions. Second, the amendment fails to set strict limits on caregivers’ qualifications. The amendment only requires that caregivers be 21 years old to obtain and dispense medical marijuana for a qualifying patient. This opens the door for abuse by caregivers with dishonest intentions. Finally, the amendment would give civil and criminal immunity to qualifying patients, caregivers, physicians and marijuana treatment centers and their employees. There is disagreement in the legal community about exactly what this means. Supporters say it simply allows the entities to possess medical marijuana without penalty and that all parties would still be liable for misuse. Opponents argue that the amendment provides a broad license to be above the law.”
Fox 30 Jacksonville interviewed a mother in St. Johns County about medical marijuana and the failure of proposed amendment 2:
“One local family was rooting for the passage of Florida’s Amendment 2, which would allow medical marijuana. Anneliese Clark showed Action News how she administers marijuana in St. Johns County to her 10-year-old daughter, Christina, who suffers from epilepsy. ‘We started cannabis extracts in January, and after five days she was seizure-free for 30 days,’ Clark said. They bought the extract legally in California because it’s slightly more potent than the levels allowed by Florida’s recently passed ‘Charlotte’s Web’ law.”
Regardless of your beliefs about the legalization of marijuana for medical or recreational use, you must remember that it is illegal. While it may not seem like a big deal to use marijuana, it is. If you are caught in possession of marijuana, you could be arrested for possession of cannabis in Duval County. You may be issued a notice to appear citation if you are in possession of less than 20 grams. If you are in possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana, you may be arrested for a felony. If you are arrested or issued a Jacksonville ticket, you should discuss your rights, options, and defenses with a Jacksonville criminal lawyer.