State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith of Orlando has once again filed legislation to end criminal penalties for possession of personal use amounts of marijuana. His House Bill 1203 defines the acceptable amounts as no more than 20 grams of marijuana or no more than 5 grams of concentrated cannabis extracts. This represents Smith's second attempt to designate possession of small amounts of marijuana as a civil offense instead of a criminal one.
A 31-year-old woman is facing drug-related charges after the Florida Highway Patrol stopped her for a window tint violation and found drugs in her car. The woman also had her 4-year-old and 11-month-old with her. The trooper noticed the smell of marijuana. The woman consented to a search and said her husband was also one of the car's drivers and that she had packed the car with a friend. A second trooper arrived and removed the children from the vehicle.
Florida police took a 26-year-old Key West woman into custody on Dec. 19, 2017, for selling drugs. She faces three counts of using a two-way device to facilitate a felony and three felony counts of dealing opium. A 32-year-old man was also arrested in connection with the woman. He faces charges of selling opium within 1,000 feet of a school, using a two-way communication device to facilitate a felony, drug equipment possession, cocaine possession and selling opium.
Police in Florida have reported that a 32-year-old man and 37-year-old woman were taken into custody on a raft of drug charges on Dec. 15 after significant quantities of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and prescription medications were discovered during the search of a Brevard County residence. Reports indicate that the search warrant was executed by officers from the Cocoa Police Department's Special Investigation Unit and Special Weapons and Tactics team.
On Dec. 20, it was reported that an up-and-coming country music artist was taken into custody in Florida after he was accused of drunk driving and being in possession of drugs. The singer, known as Michael Ray, reportedly got into a minor car accident in the drive-thru of a McDonald's in Eustis.
A Florida woman who was a substitute teacher at a middle school was taken into custody on Dec. 8 after she was accused of selling marijuana to two students. Authorities said that the two students admitted to buying and smoking the drugs from the teacher.
Two Florida lawmakers want to overhaul the state's legal system so that it shows more leniency to certain drug offenders. The moves are being advertised as a way to save taxpayers money.
The pace of search and seizure operations across the Sunshine State continued in November with the arrest of two men and a woman in Fort Walton Beach. According to a press release issued by the Fort Walton Beach Police Department, a search warrant executed by detectives from the anti-narcotics squad resulted in multiple drug charges, confiscation, arrests and a good deal of intelligence gathering.
Florida fans of Rose McGowan may be interested to learn that the actress was taken into custody on Nov. 14 on felony charges for possession of a controlled substance. She reportedly turned herself in to authorities in Virginia where she was booked and released on a $5,000 unsecured bond.
On Nov. 7, a student was taken into police custody in connection with an investigation that is ongoing at Florida State University in Tallahassee. According to media sources, the 22-year-old man is being held at the Leon County Detention Facility on suspicion of selling cocaine. Preliminary reports indicate that bond has been set at $25,000.