In a surprising election result, the medical marijuana initiative that would have legalized a non-smokeable low-THC strain of cannabis was defeated last night. The ballot measure needed 60% support to become law in the State of Florida. Unfortunately, the number of votes required fell short of the 60% requirement.
Contrary to popular belief, the ballot measure would not have legalized marijuana completely. Marijuana for recreational use is - and probably always will be - illegal in the State of Florida. Possession of twenty grams of marijuana or less is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail. Possession of over twenty grams of marijuana up to 25 pounds is a third-degree felony, punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison.
Possession of marijuana with intent to sell is also a third-degree felony.
Trafficking in marijuana (300 plants or more than 25 pounds) is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison with a 3-year mandatory minimum term.
Had the measure passed, the sale of a strain of marijuana low in THC (the active ingredient in cannabis) that could only be consumed orally (ingested not smoked) could have been sold by licensed practitioners.
On a positive note, the measure had over 50% support, which shows that the majority of Floridians are in favor of legalizing medicinal marijuana.
Marijuana has been proven to have significant medicinal benefits.
In the meantime, all forms of marijuana are illegal in Florida and possession of even a small amount can result in a conviction that will revoke your driver’s license, fines, court costs, and even jail time.
Eric Matheny is a Miami possession of marijuana lawyer and Broward possession of marijuana lawyer.