Senate Bill to Legalize Recreational Marijuana in Florida

Last November, Florida voters had the opportunity to vote for or against Amendment 2.  Amendment 2 was a Florida constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana.  Amendment 2 did not pass.  Under Florida Statute Section 893.13, it is a misdemeanor to possession less than 20 grams of marijuana.  It is a felony to possess 20 grams or more of marijuana.

Will it ever be legal to possess marijuana in Jacksonville FL?  With recreational marijuana becoming legal in other states, will Florida follow suit?  Perhaps, but it is not likely to be anytime soon.  Amendment 2 was only meant to legalize medicinal marijuana and it did not pass.  I think that it is safe to assume that there are a lot of Florida voters that approve of medical marijuana but that do not approve of recreational marijuana.  That being said, I believe that people will not be legally smoking pot in the near future in Jacksonville FL.  This is not stopping some lawmakers from pushing the issue of legalizing recreational marijuana.

Florida Senator Dwight Bullard has proposed a new Senate bill known as SB 1176.  This Florida Senate bill “would legalize the recreational use of marijuana and impose a $50-per-ounce excise tax on growers, producers and retail stores.”  The proposed law “is identical to a bill Bullard filed last year. That bill died in committee without a hearing.”  The Palm Beach Post reported on the subject stating:

Jacksonville Marijuana Lawyer

Senate Bill to Legalize Cannabis

“The bill would allow adults to use, possess, transport or give away up 2.5 ounces of marijuana and up to 6 seedlings. An adult could also grow up to six pot plants at home for personal use and smoke marijuana at home and in non-public places. Bullard acknowledges that the bill has no chance of passing this year. However, he cites his mother’s efforts in 2011 to convince lawmakers to consider amending the constitution to legalize medical marijuana. Sen. Larcenia Bullard, D-Miami and then- Rep. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth (now in the Senate) were turned down. Last year, lawmakers approved the use of a low-THC cannabis oil and broaden the use of medical marijuana. ‘At that time it was like, under no circumstances but look where we are now,’ Bullard said. ‘Strange things can happen in a short period of time.’…. As Bullard sees it, legalizing pot makes sense on several fronts: it would decriminalize ‘a petty crime;’ protect consumers from contaminated and dangerous marijuana; and generate millions of dollars in the $50-per-ounce excise tax his bill would impose on growers, producers and retailers. Bullard understands that in a landscape where some lawmakers and law enforcement groups won’t condone medical marijuana that can be smoked, he would be lucky to get a committee to hear his bill, which has no companion in the house. But he hopes his bill will open a dialogue on legalizing pot for personal use in the upcoming debate over medical marijuana.  Two Republican lawmakers are leading that initiative. HB 683, filed by Sarasota Rep. Greg Stuebe, would ban the use of smokeable marijuana but allow oil derivatives to be used for people with illnesses approved by lawmakers. SB 528, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, touches on the smokability issue but may not have gone far enough for law enforcement and some lawmakers – who see smokeable medical marijuana as a gateway to legalized pot for personal use.”

As the law stands, you may still be arrested for possession of marijuana in Jacksonville FL.  While it may be considered a petty charge to some people, it could result in a 2-year Florida drivers license suspension and a jail sentence.

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