New bipartisan legislation has been introduced in Congress to allow states to decide their own laws on marijuana and its legality. However, do not be fooled. Despite medical cannabis laws in almost every state and increasing legalization across the country of recreational marijuana, it is still illegal under federal law. The government regulates drugs through the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C., Sec. 811, which does not even recognize the difference between medical and recreational use of cannabis.
This does not typically affect an individual user, but it can still have devastating effects on those who are in the marijuana business and work so hard to provide the medicine prescribed by physicians. Additionally, growers and suppliers can provide a substantial tax base for local communities and states if allowed to come out of the shadows.
Marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning that the federal government views cannabis as highly addictive and that it does not have any medical value. Under federal law, doctors cannot “prescribe” cannabis for medical treatment, but can recommend it. In 2016, the Department of Justice issued guidance to federal prosecutors that they were not to prioritize state cases. The Trump Administration and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has clearly stated that prosecutors are to charge these cases under federal law.
Due to the fact that the medical marijuana law in Florida is in its infancy, residents will continue to be confused about whether or not they should expose themselves to federal liability for using medical marijuana. The new legislation that has been introduced would resolve this confusion, but for now Florida residents should be cautious if they are on the business side of marijuana cultivation and distribution.
The bottom line is that we recommend that you consult with a criminal defense attorney about your rights and making sure that you minimize your risks. Attorney Adam Pollack is a Board Certified Criminal Trial lawyer with many years of experience handling marijuana defense.
Call Adam today at (407) 834-5297 for a FREE marijuana consultation.