The road to marijuana legalization has been a slow one in Florida. Medical marijuana has only been legal since 2017, and even that has only been legal in smokable form since 2019.
Now, two Florida state legislators are trying once again to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes — and they seem to have the support of the state’s agriculture commissioner. Last month, Sen. Jeff Brandes of Pinellas County and Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith of Orlando introduced bills in their respective legislative bodies that would allow marijuana to be used recreationally.
The proposed law would have limitations
Under the legislation introduced by the two lawmakers, marijuana would be legal only for those who are at least 21 and in limited amounts. Under the proposed law, adults could legally purchase a product containing up to 2 grams of THC or 2.5 ounces of cannabis. It could not be consumed in public.
State Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried noted that in addition to the social justice aspect of not having people go to jail for possession or sale of relatively small amounts of the drug, legalization would strengthen the state’s economy.
Under current Florida statutes, possession or sale of 20 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor that could land a person behind bars for as long as a year and get them fined $1,000. Sentences and fines increase with the amount of marijuana possessed or sold.
Of course, legalization of marijuana wouldn’t just improve the state’s revenue, but that of growers and sellers. Wherever you are on the supply chain of cannabis – grower, seller or consumer – it’s imperative to know the status of the current laws and how they apply to you.
If you or a loved one is facing changes, the potential consequences could be greater than you realize. It’s wise to seek experienced legal guidance.