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What Are The Marijuana Laws In Florida? How Could Someone from Another State or a Marijuana Cardholder be affected?
It is surprising that a number of lawyers do not know that under certain circumstances, possession of marijuana for medical reasons in Florida is perfectly legal. That was decided decades ago when a couple, on the advice of their physician, was growing and consuming marijuana because both of them were terminally ill. They were having adverse reactions with the drugs they were taking just to try and keep them alive. They were virtually not eating; they had tried just about every drug on the market. Finally, in frustration, their physician said, “I know you’re not going to want to hear this” and doctors normally do not tell people to smoke, but, “I am recommending that you use marijuana because we have tried everything else.”
Eventually, they were arrested, they were prosecuted, they went to trial and they lost and in a move that is very unusual for judges to do, the judge actually showed mercy. Generally speaking, there is no mercy of the court, it is a myth. But, in this particular case, the judge did not send them to prison for the maximum, which is normally what happens when someone loses a trial. Instead, the judge ordered them to perform hundreds of hours of community service work caring for each other. Which is a pretty reasonable outcome considering the facts? From there, the case was appealed by the defense to the First District Court of Appeals.
Not only that, in what must have just completely blown away the Attorney General’s office for the State of Florida, the First District Court of Appeals reversed the conviction. Then the Attorney General’s office had a problem. “Do we take this to the state supreme court?” If they had, Florida would have legalized medical marijuana probably before the end of Bill Clinton’s first term back in the early and mid-nineties, based on when this decision came out. This decision is firm case law precedent in parts of Florida, and only “persuasive” authority in the rest of the state.
When it comes to marijuana, I would look to see if someone has a medical card, a prescription or something that will allow them to get the charges dismissed outright rather than have them suffer through drug offender probation or a diversion program, known as Drug Court.
What Is Drug Court And What Sets Them Up To Fail?
Drug Court is one of the biggest scams that have ever been perpetuated upon the taxpayers of the State of Florida. It is absolutely one of the biggest scams that have ever been perpetuated against people who have real drug problems. Drug Court is based on pseudoscientific AA style treatment. It relies heavily on drug testing and religious based counseling. It requires so much counseling and so much time that many people flunk out of Drug Court and get sentenced to jail or prison simply because they cannot meet the four Narcotics Anonymous meetings per week, plus the four other counseling meetings a week, plus go to court once a week in phase one. There is just too much to do and not enough time to do it.
Worst of all, Drug Court in Florida is a failure. It has a stunning failure rate, which is unsurprising considering the type of treatment modality it uses. Far too many people are not qualified for the program to begin with. Those that do qualify are being mistreated instead of being properly treated. They are never given a proper diagnostic evaluation, which is one of the most negligent things that a treatment provider can do. It is like walking into the emergency room and the doctor says, “We don’t need X-rays. Its 2016, we’ll just guess. Everybody who comes in who has fallen off of a roof gets a red cap on their right leg, “and that makes no sense. However, that is exactly what we have in Florida. The sad part of that is, this is supposedly criminal justice reform, and it is criminal justice failure.
Read on to Know about the Laws Regarding Marijuana in Florida or call Attorney Stephen G. Cobb of the Cobb Criminal Defense Law Firm in Florida for a FREE Initial Consultation at (850) 466-1522 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.