People, politicians, lobbyists, and legislators across the nation are embroiled in a debate about whether marijuana – also known as cannabis, pot, weed, ganja, bud, hydro, and chronic – should remain illegal as a medical substance and/or as a recreational substance. Some states, like California, have decided that marijuana is an acceptable medical substance, while other states, like Colorado, have decided to legalize marijuana as a recreational substance as well.
While 20 states and Washington D.C. have legalized medical marijuana, and 14 states have legalized cannabis for recreational use, the controversial drug has remained an illicit and controlled substance in Florida. It is also the number one drug leading to arrests throughout Florida, including in Palm Beach County. An experienced West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney can fight to protect your rights and work for a favorable outcome in your Palm Beach County marijuana case. When considering a skilled and knowledgeable marijuana defense lawyer as part of your strategy, it is best to contact him as soon as possible after your arrest.
West Palm Beach Marijuana Defense Attorney
A conviction for a marijuana offense in Palm Beach County can have a lasting impact on your future. If you have been arrested on marijuana charges in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Park, Lantana, North Palm Beach, Pahokee, Palm Beach, Palm Springs, Tequesta, or anywhere else in the Palm Beach County area, contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A.. Beginning your defense as soon as possible is critical to your case.
Experienced West Palm Beach marijuana charge defense lawyer Andrew Stine is a former public defender and army soldier who knows what it takes to fight the prosecution’s evidence against you in your Palm Beach County marijuana case. With over 10 years of experience and a militant, proactive approach to developing defense strategies, Andrew Stine is passionate about fighting to protect the rights and futures of clients like you. To find out more about what Andrew D. Stine, P.A. can do for your West Palm Beach area marijuana case, call 561-832-1170 today and schedule your free initial case consultation.
Florida Marijuana Charge Information Center
- Marijuana Charges and Definitions in Florida
- Penalties for Florida Marijuana Crimes
- Resources for Marijuana Charges
Though the debate over the legalization of marijuana continues nationwide, marijuana remains a Schedule I drug in Florida under Fla. Stat. § 893.03. This classification of marijuana means that possession and any other act involving the use or sale of marijuana is illegal. If you have been arrested on a marijuana offense in Palm Beach County, you could be charged with one or more of the following:
- Possession of Marijuana: Fla. Stat. §§ 893.13(6)(a)-893.13(6)(b) – Marijuana possession in Florida can mean having actual or constructive possession of the substance. Actual possession is when the marijuana is actually on your person, while constructive possession is when you know that the substance within your reach is marijuana and you have the intent to take actual possession of it. Whether marijuana possession is a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the amount of cannabis present.
- Distribution of Marijuana: Fla. Stat. § 893.13 – In Florida, it is illegal for a person to sell, manufacture, or deliver marijuana, as well as possess marijuana with the intent to sell, manufacture or deliver it, under the Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. It is important to consider the fact that marijuana distribution is only considered a distribution offense up to a certain amount, after which it becomes a marijuana trafficking crime.
- Possession of Marijuana Paraphernalia: Fla. Stat. §§ 893.145 & 893.147 – Drug paraphernalia and marijuana paraphernalia are not differentiated under Florida drug code. Marijuana paraphernalia is any equipment, products, or materials used or intended for use in the planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, compounding, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, storing, containing, concealing, or transporting a controlled substance. Marijuana paraphernalia is also any equipment, products, or materials used or intended for use in injecting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing the substance into the human body. Having actual or constructive possession of marijuana paraphernalia with the intent to use it for its respective purpose is against the law.
- Marijuana Cultivation: Fla. Stat. §§ 893.13, 893.135, & 893.1351 – Marijuana cultivation in Florida is not its own offense. Instead, the cultivation of marijuana is considered to be the manufacture of marijuana, which is covered under the same law as the distribution of marijuana. If in excess of 25 pounds or 300 plants is cultivated, it is considered a trafficking offense. Florida also makes it against the law to own, lease, or rent any structure, vehicle, or dwelling or part thereof for the purpose of marijuana cultivation. The Marijuana Grow House Eradication Act reduced the amount of marijuana plants required for a trafficking offense in grow houses from 300 to 25.
- Marijuana Trafficking: Fla. Stat. § 893.135 – The purposes of the cannabis involved has less to do with a marijuana trafficking charge than the amount of the drug present. Marijuana trafficking is when a person knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, cultivates, brings in to Florida, or is in possession of more than 25 pounds of marijuana or 300 cannabis plants. If the plants are found in a grow house operation, the number of plants needed to qualify for trafficking is reduced to 25.
How a marijuana offense is classed in Florida depends on whether your case deals directly with cannabis itself or if it deals with property associated with marijuana. When the marijuana charge is related to the possession, sale, manufacture, cultivation, delivery, or trafficking of cannabis, or intent to do so, the amount in question determines the charge and the penalties in your case. The offense classes and maximum penalties for certain amounts of marijuana are as follows:
First-Degree Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession
- Up to 20 grams
- 1 year of jail
- $1,000 fine
Third-Degree Felony Marijuana Possession
- 20 grams to 25 pounds
- 5 years in prison
- $5,000 fine
Third-Degree Felony Marijuana Cultivation/Distribution/Sale/Delivery
- Includes intent to cultivate, distribute, sell, or deliver
- Up to 25 pounds or 300 plants
- 5 years in prison
- $5,000 fine
For amounts in excess of 25 pounds or 300 plants (25 plants with grow house involvement), the offense is a drug trafficking charge. Marijuana trafficking in Florida is a first-degree felony. This offense carries up to 30 years in prison, with mandatory minimums and fines defined by statute.
Trafficking in 25 to 2,000 pounds or 300 to 2,000 plants of cannabis has a mandatory minimum of three years in prison and a $25,000 fine. For 2,000 to 10,000 pounds of marijuana or cannabis plants, trafficking comes with a minimum of seven years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine. The mandatory minimum prison term for 10,000 pounds/plants or more of cannabis is 15 years, with a maximum $200,000 fine.
When your charge deals with property associated with marijuana, the offense is classed individually by statute. Possession of marijuana paraphernalia is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Possession of a marijuana cultivation or grow house is a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
All marijuana possession charges in Florida come with a driver’s license suspension of two years under Fla. Stat. § 322.055. All Florida felonies come with additional sanctions like the loss of certain civil rights and the inability to pursue certain government aid. Working with an experienced marijuana crime defense lawyer in Palm Beach County could be the difference between facing these penalties and achieving a more favorable outcome in your West Palm Beach area marijuana case like reduced or dismissed charges.
Palm Beach County Drug Court – The Palm Beach County Drug Court is a program for persons with pending drug charges other than trafficking and sales who have never been convicted for a crime of violence. If the person successfully completes the drug court , the charges will be dropped. Follow this link for more information on who can qualify for the drug court and what it entails. The Palm Beach County Drug Court is located at:3228 Gun Club Road
West Palm Beach, FL 33406
Phone: (561) 688-4530
United for Care – A non-profit organization of People United for Medical Marijuana, United for Care is a group that fights to legalize Florida medical marijuana. Their current project is the creation of a massive petition for the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida with a constitutional amendment. Visit the site to sign the petition and get more information.
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) – Click this link to find in-depth information on marijuana’s use as a medical and recreational substance as provided by NORML. NORML is a national organization committed to changing opinions and laws about marijuana use.
Andrew D. Stine, P.A. | Defense Lawyer for Marijuana Charges in Palm Beach County
If you have been arrested and charged on a marijuana offense anywhere in Palm Beach County, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, and Wellington, contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A. as soon as possible after your arrest. Experienced West Palm Beach drug crime defense lawyer Andrew Stine has a comprehensive and detailed defense approach to fighting against your marijuana charges in Palm Beach County. Your first consultation with Andrew D. Stine, P.A. is free, so call 561.880.4300 today and schedule yours.