Is weed legal in Florida? Well, this article will try and answer that question. We have compiled some crucial information that will enable you to answer the biggest question of all time for the Florida Cannabis community. Stick around to know what is what when it comes to cannabis and the state of Florida.
Is Weed Legal In Florida?
It has been some time since the medical community has accepted the medicinal aspects of marijuana. Still, cannabis is a taboo subject in many corners of the world.
In fact, cannabis enjoys a questionable status in several states of the United States Of America. And one such state is Florida. Welcome, as we would like to take you on a journey to answer the question: is weed legal in florida?
As of writing this article, cannabis is illegal for recreational usage in Florida. However, the government of florida legalized medicinal usage back in 2016. Then what is stopping the government from legalizing cannabis for recreational usage as well?
Let us go back in history to find these answers.
Victor Licata Murder
On the night of October 16th, 1933, Victor Licata used an axe to murder his whole family in their sleep. 21-year-old Licata took the household axe to hack both of his parents, his two brothers, and his sister to death.
Sources suggested that Licata was suffering from mental illness. Still, the officials blamed marijuana usage for his crimes. The press took the information provided by the police and fanned the flames further. As a result, cannabis eventually earned the moniker of ‘Murderous Smoke.’
Even though police later retracted their statements, cannabis lost its place in society. Eventually, it was given an illegal status. This was a landslide moment in the history of the cannabis legalization movement.
Timeline Of Legality
After the Licata murder case, cannabis was thrown down the depths of illegality. For years, cannabis usage in florida, be it recreational or medical, was seen as criminal. Therefore, I believe that it is only appropriate that we take a deep dive and look at the key events in the journey of cannabis legalization.
Whenever we are talking about cannabis and legality, we must tackle the subject from two distinctive angles. In this section, we will look at the extensive timeline of medical cannabis legalization in Florida.
On June 16th, 2014, the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act was signed. This act was signed by the Governor of the State, Rick Scott. According to this bill, CBD oils can be used by patients with cancer, epilepsy, and ALS.
In order to qualify, CBD oil needs to have low THC and high CBD and should be made from a strain called Charlotte’s Web. Oils that did not fulfill these requirements were treated as illegal. This act was named the Right to Try Act.
This opened the gate for further legalization efforts.
On March 25th, 2016, Governor Scott expanded the existing Right To Act bill in order to broaden the spectrum. This revision allowed terminally ill patients to use cannabis. As a result, this was a huge deal for the medical cannabis community of Florida.
2016 saw another wave of changes in the medical cannabis community. In November 2016, 71.3% of the people of Florida state voted to broaden the scope of the act in order to include some more conditions like cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, HIV, AIDS, PTSD, ALS, Crohn’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, etc.
However, patients need to acquire a doctor’s consent form in order to avail the necessary benefits. However, only oils were allowed by the government. Anything other than CBD oils was strictly forbidden.
The second aspect of cannabis legalization is the legalization of recreational usage. Recreational usage is a very big aspect of cannabis legality. However, it is a conversation that is usually ignored. Mainly because cannabis has accrued a taboo status. Therefore, whenever somebody tries to justify usage without data, it becomes difficult to digest by the establishment.
Back in april 2021, Florida Supreme Court claimed that an initiative to legalize recreational cannabis was misleading and dangerous. The primary argument was that cannabis can further deviant behavior in individuals.
Surprisingly enough, the Victor Licata Murder was again quoted after 90 years. This shows that misinformation regarding cannabis and cannabis usage has riddled the system, and it will take a long time before cannabis as a subject is normalized.
Even though the Government is currently demonstrating a stubborn stance when it comes to cannabis, things really do look good for recreational cannabis users. As of now, the Florida State Department confirmed that 967,528 valid signatures were submitted in order to legalize cannabis. Therefore, the 2024 ballot seems like a great opportunity for legalizing cannabis for recreational usage.
With the basics and the timeline clarified, it will not hurt to know a little bit more about some of the more common marijuana offenses. This will help us understand the current landscape a little bit better.
Possession of paraphernalia will be treated as a misdemeanor and will earn you a year in incarceration and $1000 in fines.
Concentrates & Hash
Possession, manufacturing, distributing, and selling of cannabis concentrates will earn you a 5-year incarceration and a $5000 fine. Subsequently, if you are caught doing the same within 1000 ft of a school, the incarceration is 15 years and $10,000. This will be treated as a felony.
Sale & Delivery
If you are caught selling cannabis, then you can be incarcerated for upto 30 years with a hefty $200,000 fine. However, anything less than 20 grams will be treated as a misdemeanor with 1 year of incarceration and a $1,000 fine.
With that, we have reached the very end of our article trying to answer the question, “is weed legal in Florida?”. Well, the answer is a confused yes. While the state has acknowledged that cannabis has a great medicinal property, it is still not allowed to be consumed recreationally.
Samik has been a literature student all along and uses his fluidity to write about multi-niche topics. Aspiring to be a professional writer, he tries to analyze his topic from a critical standpoint but still adds a hint of personal perspective to the end product. Being a person having a general inclination toward global politics and documentary filmmaking, he also wishes to write and document more about numerous conflicts that are brewing in the different corners of the globe.