Marijuana is a drug which has been around for many years. Study after study has shown its use to have few, if any, serious health effects. Yet, it is completely illegal under federal law and illegal with only one very minor exception under Florida law. Thousands of people are arrested every year for crimes involving the use, trafficking, and distribution of marijuana.
If you are arrested in Fort Walton Beach or the surrounding areas for possession of marijuana even for personal use, you could face misdemeanor or even felony charges.
A Knowledgable Marijuana Lawyer
Will the legalization of marijuana in Florida help me with my drug arrest? No. You should immediately contact me regarding this question. I have defended thousands of clients facing drug charges, many of which are bothering or harming no one with their marijuana use and possession. Let my experience work for you in distinguishing your case from other types of situations. Many local military service members find themselves using marijuana due to legitimate health reasons and should be treated accordingly. Marijuana use cuts across all levels of society and it’s time for the State of Florida to treat this crime more leniently. Let me fight for you. Call me at 850-439-0999 so that I can begin preparing your case that could save your career, freedom and your record. I represent people throughout Okaloosa County, Fort Walton Beach, and Niceville.
Marijuana Charges Defined By Statute
Marijuana has been classified by the Legislature as a “Schedule I” drug. Unlike most Schedule I substances, it can be a misdemeanor to possess a very small amount. Some of the most common marijuana related crimes in Fort Walton Beach and Destin include:
Possession of Marijuana – According to Fla. Stat. 893.13(6)(a), it is illegal to be in actual or constructive possession of marijuana. Constructive possession means the individual is aware of the presence of marijuana and has the ability to possess it.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Fla.Stat. 893.145 states that any object or material that is used or intended for the use of growing, packaging, transporting, manufacturing, growing, or storing marijuana is considered marijuana paraphernalia. This may include pipes, rolling papers, baggies, scales and more. Being in actual or constructive possession of marijuana is illegal, according to Fla.Stat. § 893.147.
Cannabis Distribution/Cultivation – Under Fla.Stat. § 893.13, it is illegal to sell, manufacture, deliver, or possess with the intent to distribute marijuana. Depending on the amount involved, marijuana distribution charges can also be enhanced to drug trafficking charges.
Trafficking in Cannabis – According to Fla.Stat. 893.135, if an individual purchases, sells, transports, delivers, or manufactures in excess of 25 pounds of cannabis or 300 plants, he or she is guilty of this offense. Trafficking charges carry mandatory minimum sentences.
Penalties for Possession of Marijuana or Paraphernalia
In Florida, individuals are penalized for marijuana offenses based on the the amount of marijuana involved in the offense.
- Possession of up to 20 grams of cannabis is a first degree misdemeanor marijuana possession charge, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
- Possession of 20 grams up to 25 pounds is a third degree felony, which carries a prison term of up to five years and a fine of up to $5,000. (This includes growing marijuana.)
Additionally, your driver’s license may be suspended for 1 year for any marijuana related offense, particularly in felony marijuana possession crimes.
Penalties for Distributing and Trafficking Marijuana
Cultivating, distributing, selling, or delivering amounts up to 25 pounds or 300 cannabis plants, a person can be charged with a third degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
A conviction for trafficking in marijuana in an amount of 25-200 lbs is punishable by a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 3 years, along with a $25,000 fine. If the amount is between 2,000 to 10,000 plants, the minimum sentence can be 7 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. For amounts that are 10,000 pounds or more, the mandatory minimum prison sentence can be 15 years, along with a $200,000 fine.
Having a experienced defense attorney like Robert A. Dees, PA will have significant impact on the result of your case.