Most criminal laws are determined on a state-by-state basis in America. Drug crime laws, in particular, can be very state-specific. For instance, some West Coast states, like California and Washington, have legalized marijuana possession and use, to a certain extent. However, in other states, such as Florida, possession of marijuana for anything other than medically-prescribed uses remains illegal.
Other than the exception for medical purposes, the marijuana laws in Florida are fairly straightforward. Marijuana possession laws, for example, increase in severity incrementally based on how much marijuana a person possesses. Individuals who are alleged to be in possession of 20 or less grams of marijuana will face a first-degree misdemeanor charge. Such a charge comes with a potential maximum sentence of one year in jail. However, as with most other misdemeanor charges, a conviction on this type of marijuana charge is more likely to bring about a sentence to a term of probation supervision.
However, there are some marijuana crimes that can come with quite severe punishment upon conviction. Possession of marijuana is one thing, but trafficking the illegal drug is quite another. If a person is convicted of trafficking anywhere from 25 to 2,000 pounds of marijuana, that individual could face a mandatory prison sentence of three years, as well as a significant fine. Anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 pounds could result in a prison sentence of seven years. Over 10,000 pounds will likely result in a prison sentence of 15 years.
Although there are many states that are relaxing their marijuana drug crime laws, Florida is not one of them. Anyone who is facing a marijuana charge in Florida will likely benefit from getting more information about their criminal defense options.