Medical Marijuana Laws in Florida: Know Your Rights

Florida, like many states, allows people to use marijuana for medicinal purposes but outlaws recreational use. In other words, people can still be charged for crimes for certain marijuana-related activities. Additionally, there is sometimes a stigma attached to the use of marijuana, regardless of whether it is for medicinal purposes. Thus, it is important for people in Florida who currently have or are considering seeking a medical marijuana card to understand their rights under the law. If you are accused of a marijuana offense, it is smart to meet with a capable St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney to determine what defenses you may be able to assert.

Can You Be Arrested for Using Marijuana if You Have a Medical Marijuana Card?

People authorized to consume medical marijuana must nonetheless abide by the laws regarding its use. For example, they cannot possess, use, or administer marijuana that was not obtained from a medical marijuana treatment center. Additionally, there are certain places that people cannot use marijuana, such as any form of public transportation or in any public place unless they are using low-THC cannabis that is not in a form intended for smoking. They also cannot use it on a school bus or vehicle, or school grounds. Finally, they cannot use it in indoor workplaces or a place of employment unless it is permitted by the employer.

Is Marijuana Use Permitted During Probation?

People who are placed on probation following convictions are typically prohibited from using illicit drugs. While recreational marijuana use is still not permitted for people on probation, those sentenced to probation can lawfully use marijuana if they have valid medical marijuana cards.

Can the Police Search Your Car If They Smell Marijuana?

The Florida courts have consistently ruled that the smell of marijuana provides probable cause to search a vehicle. Since the legalization of medical marijuana use in Florida, however, many attorneys have challenged these rulings and argued that searches based on the odor of marijuana violate Fourth Amendment rights. Additionally, many prosecutors have advised they will no longer prosecute cases arising out of such searches.

Who Can Access the Medical Marijuana Use Registry?

The Florida Office of Medical Marijuana Use maintains a registry of people authorized to use medical marijuana in the state, along with their qualifying conditions and the routes and amount of marijuana permitted. Generally, only a person’s physician, the Florida Department of Health, and medical marijuana treatment centers can access these records. Law enforcement is permitted to access the registry as well, but only if they are investigating an alleged violation of a marijuana law, in which the subject of the investigation claims that he or she is a registered medical marijuana patient.

Consult a Seasoned St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney

People with medical marijuana cards may nonetheless be charged with marijuana-related crimes in Florida or face other adverse consequences due to their marijuana use, and it is critical for them to understand their rights. William Hanlon of Hanlon Law is a seasoned marijuana crime defense attorney, and if you are charged with a marijuana-related offense or any other crime, he can assist you in seeking the best possible result under the facts of your case. You can reach Mr. Hanlon at 727-897-5413 or through the form online to schedule a conference.

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