As of November 8, 2016, Amendent 2 passed in Florida, allowing medical marijuana use. The amendment was supported by 71% of voters. It will take some time before everything is in place, since dispensaries have not been opened yet. The program can probably be expected to start in 6-9 months.
When medical marijuana is available, who will qualify and what will this mean for the state? Here’s what we know so far.
Who is qualified to receive medical marijuana?
In order to obtain medical marijuana, patients will have to meet a few requirements. They must have:
· A debilitating medical condition
· A physician’s certification
· A valid ID card
· For minors only, written permission from a parent/guardian
Conditions considered for medical marijuana treatment would be conditions such as cancer, PTSD, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s, or other conditions of this scope. Essentially, if a condition is considered very serious and the physician believes medical marijuana will benefit the patient, the patient could receive a prescription.
What aspects of medical marijuana are still illegal?
Even if a patient meets the above requirements and their possession of marijuana is legal, there are still restrictions that will be in place. A patient may never grow and/or sell marijuana. Driving under the influence of marijuana is still considered illegal. Employers and schools are not required to allow medical marijuana use on their grounds. Finally, medical marijuana may not be smoked in public.
It is hard to say what direction medical marijuana will take next or what its legalization will look like in practice. Once it actually begins distribution in Florida, other legal questions and concerns may be raised.
It’s important to remember that all recreational use of marijuana is still illegal. Even if you qualify for medical marijuana, be sure to stay updated on the medical marijuana amendment so that you know your rights and what is considered legal. Always contact a skilled criminal defense attorney if you are charged with a drug-related crime, whether you believe your activity was illegal or not.