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Medical Marijuana Law Passes, Rendering Florida’s Criminal Marijuana Laws Unconstitutional

Florida Drug Laws made be out of touch with “new” science and the new law passed by Governor Scott as it pertains to Schedule I narcotics. Recently, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed Florida’s Medical Marijuana Bill into effect. The new law allows limited use of “charlotte’s web” Marijuana, a strain of Marijuana with low tetrahydrocannidinol or THC, the active ingredient responsible for the high in Marijuana. The purpose of the law is to allow patients who are suffering from diseases like: epilepsy, cancer and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), known as Lou Gehrig’s disease to seek relief from pain, to allow for appetite and to provide reduction or elimination of tremors and seizures. So this new Florida Marijuana Law with the updated science shown through its passage arguable renders Florida’s Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act Unconstitutional.

Under current Florida Law, Section 893.13, it is a felony for a person to sell, manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver, a controlled substance like Marijuana. As a matter of fact, Marijuana has been labeled as a Schedule I narcotic. Under Florida Law Schedule I narcotics are label as such because they are said to have a high potential for abuse and have not currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Further, Schedule I narcotics under Florida Law are said to not meet safety standards even if used under medical supervision. Florida Law, Section 893.13 language of “no current medical use” is now in direct conflict with Rick Scott’s newly passed and signed Medical Marijuana Law for the specific reason that the Florida Legislatures and the Governor’s signature now have attested to the fact that Marijuana has a medical purpose.

Remember, Florida drug laws passed decades ago prohibit Marijuana Possession because as Florida General Statute 893.13 dictates, the substances listed in this 893 section, like Marijuana, are said to have “no current accepted medical use.” The antiquated language of “no medical use” in section 893.13, has now been refuted by the new legislation signed into law by Rick Scott in June 2014, allowing for medical marijuana use in Florida. It is impossible to believe that even a Prosecutor or a Judge, even a Judge who was a former Prosecutor, can argue with a straight face that Marijuana does not have a “medical purpose” in light of the newly passed Florida Medical Marijuana Law.

If Marijuana has medical purposes, like the Florida Legislatures and Governor have all agreed upon, then Florida Criminal Statute 893.13 is now unconstitutional; as Marijuana cannot be listed as a Schedule I narcotic under the section.  Florida courts, including the Florida Supreme Court have reasoned, prior to the passage of the 2014 Florida Medical Marijuana Law, that under Florida Criminal Statute 893.13, cannabis or marijuana was defined as all parts of any plant of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant  its seeds or resin. Florida Statute 893.02(3). The statutory definition of cannabis includes all species or varieties of cannabis and all of its extracts, as defined by the courts and their rulings since 1981.

In 1980, the Florida Supreme Court reasoned that classifying cannabis as a Schedule I drug was constitutional.In Aldo v. State, the Florida Supreme Court in 1980 held that cannabis should be classified with other hallucinogens, amphetamines, methamphetamines, barbiturates, narcotics, and similar drugs, for the purpose of punishment for its unlawful sale and possession as it has a rational basis and is not arbitrary or in violation of constitutional equal protection guaranties.

Well today and with the science that was proposed to the Florida Legislatures and to Governor Rick Scott, in the passing of the Florida Medical Marijuana Law, it is now arbitrary and violative of the equal protections clause of the U.S. Constitution and Florida Constitution to arrest and prosecute a criminal defendant for Marijuana, when the government’s own science proves it is not a Schedule I narcotic. Remember, under Florida Law as written Marijuana must be a Schedule I narcotic to be illegal!

In 1969, the Florida Supreme Court reasoned in Borras v. State, that the state’s interest in preventing harm to the individual and to the public at large justifies the outlawing of marijuana, in private and public uses. The public harm concerns that the Borras Court recognized in marijuana, cannot hardly be argued today in Florida, as the Florida Legislatures and Governor himself have publicly said that “children should not have to suffer from diseases that can be alleviated from Marijuana use.” What prosecutor or judge, even a judge who was in fact a former prosecutor, are going to argue against helping people through punitive sentences or even prosecuting them for marijuana use, when their own governor has endorsed Marijuana use in Florida’s children. The ruling of Florida Supreme Court Borras is now in great doubt and has been pre-empted by the new legislation allowing Marijuana use in Florida. The public harm argument has been destroyed by the very people who made it-the government!

If you or a loved one has been arrested, indicted or are being investigated for a drug crime, contact Florida’s premier drug lawyer Andrew D. Stine. Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney Andrew D. Stine has been fighting drug crimes for over a decade. West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer Andrew D Stine has always defended those accused of criminal drug crimes and has never prosecuted or persecuted those accused of marijuana possession or possession of any other illegal substances. Hire Stine or Do the Time.

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