Legislation was signed recently by Florida Gov. Rick Scott making medical marijuana legal with a deadline of July 3 for how patients can qualify and receive the drug. Floridians approved this last year with 71 percent of the vote. However, we need to remember that this is simply the initial framework for access to medical marijuana for some of the sickest individuals. Other states have experienced wide ranging abuses of this process and we can be sure that this will happen in Florida as well.
The lines can easily become blurred between legal and illegal use of marijuana. In other states like Michigan, a person can have their medical marijuana card and still face criminal penalties for legally using their prescription. Did they have their weed locked in a secure box not accessible in their vehicle? Are they using a version of the drug that is not approved by the state law like wax? Did they operate a motor vehicle while under the influence…of their medicine? These issues will be litigated in Florida with many of them reaching the state’s top courts.
While there were already individuals using medical marijuana in Florida prior to the bill’s passing, the new law adds people with HIV and AIDS, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and similar conditions. Law enforcement officers and first-responders with PTSD may become eligible which could open another area of concern for the people of Florida.
The most common form of ingesting marijuana is smoking the substance, but this bill bans smoking marijuana. There are lawsuits being filed to challenge this interpretation.
Medical marijuana will be sold as edibles, vaping, oils, sprays or tinctures. You will be able to get an order for three 70-day supplies but then have to visit your doctor again to renew your prescription.
If you are considering applying for your medical marijuana card, you should seek the advice of an attorney who knows the law and can assist you with the process. If you are charged with any crime that is related to your legal use of marijuana, you MUST hire an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately to protect your rights.
Attorney Adam Pollack is a Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorney and can handle every aspect of your case from investigation to jury trial. Call him today at (407) 834-5297