It looks like an amendment to legalize medical marijuana is going to be back on Florida’s ballot this November. After United for Care, a pro-medical marijuana legalization campaign run by People United for Medical Marijuana, submitted the required petitions needed by the January 31st deadline, the amendment proposal formally made the ballot for this year’s presidential election.

The proposed amendment would make it legal for people suffering from debilitating medical conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy to use marijuana when recommended by doctors. It also sets the mandate for the Florida Department of Health to hand down guidelines for registering and regulating centers to produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and issuing patient and caregiver ID cards.

If at least 60 percent of voters approve the amendment on the ballot this fall, the measure will pass, officially legalizing the medical use of marijuana in the state.

Will the Medical Marijuana Amendment Pass?

Although a similar amendment fell just short of passing in 2014, proponents of the measure believe that the larger voter turnout expected this year and the less organized opposition will help push the ballot measure to finally pass. While it’s too soon to say how voters will perceive the specific language in this measure, polling from last year does indicate a high level of support for medical marijuana legalization in Florida. In fact, all polls indicate at least the necessary 60 percent approval, and a Quinnipiac University Poll indicated that support for such a measure could be as much as 84 percent.

If medical marijuana is legalized, compassionate care use will become legal, exempting these seriously ill patients from prosecution for marijuana possession and use under Florida law; however, recreational use will still not be allowed under either Florida or federal law. The average person in Florida can—and will— still be prosecuted for possession, growth, and sales of marijuana. While public perceptions of marijuana may be changing here in Florida, it will likely be a while longer before general use and sales of marijuana will not be a legal issue.

Until that day, even possession of less than 20 g of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable offense in Florida, and any more will lead directly to felony charges. If you are convicted of misdemeanor possession of marijuana, you face up to a year of incarceration and a fine of up to $1,000. Felony charges carry even harsher sentences, including up to 30 years prison if you are caught with enough of the plant.

How the Florida Marijuana Lawyers at Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. Can Help

If you are arrested for marijuana possession in Florida, it’s still a serious situation that requires a strong, passionate defense. Call the Florida marijuana lawyers at Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. today at (941) 363-7900 for a free consultation. Find out how we may be able to help you fight the charges and get the best possible outcome for your case.

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