Florida lawmakers do not like drugs. The penalties for drug use and possession in the state are some of the most severe in the country. While many states are relaxing rules on marijuana use, Florida senators are doing their best to make it even more difficult to ease the laws.
The message is clear, do not smoke marijuana or take other illegal drugs in the state. If caught, you may be heading for jail.
You do not even need to be caught with drugs to end up behind bars. You could face a year in prison and a $1000 fine if found in possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to use it. What exactly does this mean?
Under Florida code, drug paraphernalia means anything to do with the production and distribution of a drug. So little ziplock bags, grow lights or a set of digital scales could all put you behind bars for five years.
It also means anything “To inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance.” So rolling papers, pipes, bongs, syringes or spoons could all get you in serious trouble – a $1000 fine and a year in jail.
Intent to use is critical. Carrying around a spoon to eat your soup at lunchtime, does not prove you were going to cook heroin with it. If you are caught with drugs as well, it will be harder to argue you did not intend to use the equipment, and you could face two charges, one for drugs and one for the paraphernalia.