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Migration To Colorado For Medical Use Of Marijuana

1100 families from Florida and Virginia, South Carolina and New York, have moved to Colorado to treat their sick children with promising oil derived from marijuana. Their migration is one of many ways that a once-illicit drug is reshaping life here in Colorado, a state that is now considered a forefront of the national debate over legalizing drugs.

The Justice Department has warily allowed Colorado and Washington State, which passed a similar measure, to go ahead with their plans to regulate recreational marijuana, even though it remains illegal under federal law. The first retail marijuana shops in Colorado are poised to open in January. Strains of sativa and indica plants flourish in basements across the state.

The families have put high hopes on marijuana oil called Charlotte’s Web, which is made by a medical marijuana dispensary in Colorado Springs. “Indispensary” is the name of the business that sells variety of highly potent marijuana and edibles. Buyers interested in purchasing marijuana oil must present certifications from two practicing Colorado doctors. A month’s supply of the oil can cost $150 to $250.

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The legality of cannabis (marijuana) varies from country to country. The medicinal use of cannabis is legal in a number of countries, including Canada, Czech Republic and Israel. In US, while federal law prohibits all sale and possession of marijuana, enforcement varies widely at the state level and some states have established medicinal marijuana programs that contradict federal law—Colorado and Washington have repealed their laws prohibiting the recreational use of cannabis, and have instated a regulatory regime that is contrary to federal statutes.

Medical Marijuana Use Under Proposed Florida Law

Public support for legalizing medical marijuana in Florida shows big numbers. The proposed amendment reads:

“Allows the medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating diseases as determined by a licensed Florida physician. Allows caregivers to assist patients’ medical use of marijuana. The Department of Health shall register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue identification cards to patients and caregivers. Applies only to Florida law. Does not authorize violations of federal law or any non-medical use, possession or production of marijuana.”

If the language for the ballot initiative gets past the Florida Supreme Court, voters will have their say in November 2014, when they’re asked to approve an amendment to state Constitution.

Out of 20 states (and DC) that have legalized medical marijuana, only California and Massachusetts have requirements similar to Florida’s proposal that allow for physician discretion when it comes to qualifying conditions. Most other states have a finite list of conditions, but say that the health department could add more or assign waivers. So Florida’s amendment would have a more relaxed standard than most states.

Marijuana Charges in Florida

Florida has strict marijuana laws; possession and sales can both lead to jail time, loss of license and other consequences. If you’ve been arrested in Florida for marijuana-related crime, contact your criminal defense attorney to get a consultation to defend your case.

Marijuana Laws in Florida

  • 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.

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.

Marijuana Defense Attorney in Palm Beach County

Experienced 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 561.880.4300 today and schedule your free initial case consultation.

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