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Florida man arrested while bringing marijuana to ailing father

A Tampa man was recently arrested for marijuana possession after being pulled over because a light was out on his car. Police smelled the medical marijuana he was taking home for his father's treatment and searched his car.

After the man's father became ill with terminal dementia, the family found that marijuana was the only thing that eased their father's discomfort and allowed him to get a good night's sleep. He was also able to put on some weight and the progression of the dementia seemed to slow down after he started using the marijuana.

Now, the son, who was trying to help his ailing father, is facing charges of felony marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia after being caught with 24 grams of the drug and a device commonly used to smoke the drug. He is being forced to go to an outpatient drug rehabilitation program and spend a year on probation.

The son now has a criminal record and could be sent to prison for five years if he buys marijuana for his father again. He has a degree in public administration and is currently campaigning for an unpaid county office post. He is also a supporter of Amendment 2, which is on the November ballot in Florida for the legalization of medical marijuana.

This Florida resident provides testimony about the value of medical marijuana. Four years earlier, when the family found out that their patriarch had terminal dementia, they were told he would only live for another year. They credit the medicinal properties of marijuana with keeping their father in their lives much longer than the doctors had predicted.

Florida residents charged with drug offenses need experienced legal counsel, to make sure that their personal life circumstances are placed before the courts, which may, in some cases, lead to reduced charges.

Source: The Tampa Tribune, "A candidate, an ill father, 24 grams of pot - and an arrest," by Elizabeth Behrman, Oct. 10, 2014

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