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The Impact of A Medical Marijuana Card on Possession Charges in Florida

June 17, 2023

This guide will go over how possessing a medical marijuana card affects potential possession of marijuana charges and how a criminal defense attorney can provide invaluable assistance in such cases.

  1. Medical Marijuana in Florida:

    In 2016, Florida passed the Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative, known as Amendment 2, allowing for the use of medical marijuana by individuals with qualifying conditions. This landmark legislation permits licensed physicians to prescribe medical marijuana to patients with chronic illnesses, including cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, Parkinson's disease, and more.

  2. Possession of Marijuana in Florida:

    Despite the state's medical marijuana program, possession of marijuana is still a criminal offense in Florida. Possession of up to 20 grams of marijuana is considered a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. Possessing more than 20 grams can result in felony charges, leading to severe penalties, including incarceration and substantial fines.

  3. How a Medical Marijuana Card Can Impact Possession Charges:

    Having a valid medical marijuana card in Florida does not automatically grant immunity from being charged with marijuana possession. However, it can serve as a vital legal defense that can significantly impact the outcome of a case. Here are a few ways a medical marijuana card can influence possession charges:

  4. Affirmative Defense:

    Possessing marijuana in compliance with Florida's medical marijuana laws can serve as an affirmative defense. It means that if you are charged with possession, presenting a valid medical marijuana card to the court can help establish that you were using the substance legally for medical purposes.

  5. Pretrial Diversion Programs:

    In some cases, possessing marijuana despite having a medical marijuana card may lead to arrest. However, a skilled criminal defense attorney can help negotiate pretrial diversion programs as an alternative to formal prosecution. These programs allow individuals to complete specific requirements, such as drug education or community service, in exchange for the dismissal of charges.

  6. Expert Legal Guidance:

    Navigating the complex legal landscape of marijuana possession charges can be overwhelming. A criminal defense attorney experienced in handling drug-related cases can provide expert advice tailored to your specific situation. They can analyze the evidence, assess the strength of the prosecution's case, and identify any legal loopholes or procedural errors that could work in your favor.

  7. How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Assist:

    When facing possession charges, it is crucial to consult a qualified criminal defense attorney who specializes in drug-related cases. Here's how they can assist:

  8. Case Evaluation:

    A skilled attorney will thoroughly review the details of your case, including the circumstances of the arrest, evidence gathered, and your medical marijuana card. They will assess the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution's case to build a solid defense strategy.

  9. Developing Defense Strategies:

    Based on their expertise, a defense attorney can devise a tailored defense strategy that may involve asserting your medical need for marijuana, challenging the legality of the search and seizure, or proving that the marijuana belonged to someone else.

  10. Negotiating Plea Bargains:

    If the evidence against you is strong, a defense attorney can negotiate plea bargains with the prosecution to secure reduced charges or penalties. They will advocate for your best interests and work towards achieving the most favorable outcome possible.

  11. Conclusion:

    While possessing a medical marijuana card in Florida does not guarantee immunity from possession charges, it can significantly impact the legal proceedings and potential outcomes. Engaging the services of a skilled criminal defense attorney like the Law Office of Juan C. Calama is essential in such cases. We possess the legal expertise and experience necessary to navigate the complexities of the legal system, evaluate your case, and build a robust defense strategy. By leveraging the benefits of a medical marijuana card and our years legal knowledge, individuals charged with marijuana possession can increase their chances of obtaining a favorable resolution.