Medical Marijuana Now Legal in Florida
By: Attorney John Knutton
The Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative, better known as Amendment 2, was put on the November 2016 ballot in Florida. The amendment was approved by 71.3% of Florida voters, and will go into effect January 3, 2017.
Amendment 2 allows the medical use of marijuana for individuals with "debilitating medical conditions" as determined by a doctor. Further, the Amendment also states that the Florida Department of Health must register and regulate centers that produce and sell marijuana, and shall also issue identification cards to patients and their caregivers. The Amendment specifically does not protect against non-medical use of marijuana, or possession or production of marijuana.
So how does Amendment 2 affect the average citizen? As of January 3, 2017, if an individual is critically ill, and suffering from a "debilitating medical condition" such as cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, PTSD, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), Crohn's disease, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, or other such conditions, they are permitted to use marijuana after being certified by a doctor, and receiving an identification card from the Florida Department of Health. Ultimately, it is up to the patient's doctor to determine whether their condition truly is a "debilitating medical condition."
It is important to remember that if you are not suffering from a "debilitating medical condition" and you do not have an identification card, it is illegal to possess any amount of marijuana in the State of Florida. If you encounter a police officer, and are found to be possessing marijuana, you are subject to arrest and prosecution. If you are arrested for possession of marijuana, it is critical to hire an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. Joe Pate and John Knutton have years of experience in the criminal justice system, and will be able to help you achieve the best result possible.