Traditionally, cannabis users have used marijuana cigarettes, bongs, blunts and pipes. A new fad that is taking the marijuana-using world by storm is oils and concentrates. These new THC oil concentrates are formulated using state-of-the-art techniques that have a stronger effect on their users.
The delivery devices for THC oil, such as vape pens and “dab rigs,” have been added to the state’s paraphernalia list along with any equipment used to make concentrates. THC oil possession carries a much higher penalty than regular cannabis charges.
How penalties for THC oils and cannabis compare
In Florida, possessing less than 20 grams of cannabis buds is a first-degree misdemeanor. Under the Florida Statute § 893.13, possession of THC oil is a third-degree felony, which is punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
What should you do if pulled over with THC oil in the car?
The protocol for what to and not to do after being pulled over is similar. Consider the following four points:
- Pull over: You should slow your speed and pull over as soon as it’s safe to do so after a police officer turns their lights on behind you.
- Turn over the requested documents: You should readily supply the officer with your driver’s license, registration and insurance when they request them.
- The smell of marijuana: A police officer will likely request all vehicle occupants to step out of the car if they smell a marijuana odor coming from your vehicle. Florida law allows officers to legally search a vehicle and its occupants if they smell marijuana.
- Results of search: A police officer will likely ask who the THC oil or paraphernalia belongs to if they locate it in your vehicle. You do not have to answer such a question. You can politely refuse to reply or ask to speak with legal counsel instead.
Florida prosecutors must prove that you knew about the contraband being in the car if they wish to secure a conviction in their case. There are various defenses that you can craft depending on how many people were in the vehicle, where the police found the drugs and whose name the car’s registration is in. You’ll want to carefully weigh different case details before deciding on the defense strategy to employ in your Florida drug case.