The use and enjoyment of marijuana has been seen and heard through movies and music. It seems that more and more people are “accepting or tolerating” the use of marijuana. From Sean Paul’s big hit in the early 2000s “Just Gimme the Light” (www.allseanpaul.com) to the hit movie “Knocked Up,” (www.imdb.com/title/tt0478311/) the portrayal of marijuana use in the media seems that there are no consequences. Unfortunately, the songs and movies do not capture the reality of what is the law. Regardless, even if you do not believe it should be a crime, it is still a crime in the State of Florida.
You Can Get Arrested!
Possession of marijuana in the state of Florida is a 1st degree misdemeanor. Under the Florida Statute 893.13(6)(b) it states:
“If the offense is the possession of not more than 20 grams of cannabis, as defined in this chapter, the person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree…”
The consequence of being arrested can be a maximum of 1 year jail time and a maximum fine of $1,000. These are serious penalties for possessing a “joint,” but they are real and they can be enforced.
Polls / Reality
According to a 2009 Gallup Poll, “44% of Americans are in favor of making marijuana legal and 54% are opposed. U.S. public support for legalizing marijuana was fixed in the 25% range from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s, but acceptance jumped to 31% in 2000 and has continued to grow throughout this decade.” (http://www.gallup.com)
According to www.Procon.org there are 16 states and DC that allow the use of medical marijuana and another 10 or so that have pending legislation. (www.procon.org). As for the State of Florida, possession of marijuana even for “medical use” is still illegal.
The State of Florida has a narrow exception for the defense of using medical marijuana in the 1991 Jenks v. State case. (to read the case : see http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=10379129612648642905&hl=en&as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr)
If you decide to use marijuana in the state of Florida you can face harsh penalties. So be safe and be smart!