Many states have been changing their drug laws regarding marijuana. However, what’s allowed still varies greatly between states, so if you’re a resident of Florida, you’ll want to be familiar with the applicable laws.
Marijuana penalties in Florida
Some states are moving toward legalizing medical and recreational marijuana. However, drug charges for marijuana are still in effect in Florida under certain circumstances. Medical marijuana has been legal in Florida since 2016, but recreational marijuana is illegal.
Using or selling under 20 grams and possessing paraphernalia are the only misdemeanors. Possessing or selling larger quantities of marijuana is a felony.
The lowest felony possession charge is for under 25 pounds of marijuana, which can result in 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Possessing under a ton is subject to 3 to 15 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Having under 5 tons could lead to 7 to 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. Possessing more than 5 tons of marijuana is typically punished with 15 to 30 years in prison and a $200,000 fine.
Sale of marijuana and plants
The sentences are similar to felony charges for possession. Using or selling marijuana within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, colleges and other buildings could result in a sentence of 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The number of marijuana plants matters too:
- Under 25 plants is equal to under 25 pounds.
- Having or selling 25 to 300 plants results in 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
- Having or selling 300 to 2,000 plants results in 3 to 15 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
- Having or selling 2,000 to 10,000 plants results in 7 to 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
While marijuana laws are changing across the country, Florida only allows medical marijuana. In Florida, you need a marijuana card on you to buy medical marijuana from a dispensary.
If you are facing drug charges, you may be able to plea bargain for a lesser sentence. Drug diversion programs are available for first offenders with no criminal history.