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A look at Florida’s medical marijuana proposal

On Behalf of | Sep 3, 2014 | Drug Charges

Everything surrounding how medical marijuana is prescribed and used in Florida could be changing in November. While 23 states have already legalized medical marijuana in some form or fashion, Florida is possibly on the verge of becoming the 24th state. Whether these regulations will be beneficial or not is left to be seen, but it will assuredly affect marijuana drug charges if passed.

Currently, neither recreational nor medical marijuana is legal to cultivate, possess or use in Florida or under federal law. However, the state has proposed a ballot initiative for an amendment to the Florida Constitution to be voted on in November.

If passed, Florida Amendment 2 will allow licensed Florida physicians to prescribe medical marijuana to anyone with a “debilitating disease.”

A debilitating disease is defined as a serious illness such as cancer, HIV, AIDS, and ALS where the physician believes that any risks of using medical marijuana will be outweighed by any positive effects.

If Amendment 2 is passed, it could pose other complications associated with drug possession in Florida. Individuals possessing medical marijuana would be allowed to possess and use it as that is the purpose of Amendment 2. However, certain situations could arise when individuals are not experiencing debilitating symptoms anymore or they are using the marijuana beyond the specified term.

For example, individuals using medical marijuana could be subject to laws regulating driving under the influence even though they are legally using the marijuana. Many individuals are not aware that drunk driving laws apply to other drugs in addition to alcohol. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana that can affect behavior, response, and coordination while driving. This and other related issues will be fully discussed if necessary in due time.

Often, legislation has many unintended consequences for better or for worse. We’ve outlined several questions here and there could be more. It is important to be educated and aware of significant issues that will affect not only medical marijuana users, but also the public as a whole.