How do I get medicinal marijuana in Florida?
In the last several years, many states have implemented statutes authorizing the use of medicinal marijuana. Florida is not one of those states. As such, you cannot get medical marijuana in the state of Florida.
Obtaining Medical Marijuana
If you feel that you absolutely need medical marijuana, you have two general options: obtain medical marijuana illegally or establish a residence where medical marijuana is authorized. Before you choose the first option, you should understand all of the consequences associated with the illegal possession of marijuana, including medical marijuana. Similarly, before you uproot and relocate, you should review both the laws in states that authorize medical marijuana and overlapping federal statutes.
States that Authorize Medical Marijuana vs. Florida
In California, if you carry a Medical Marijuana Identification Card, you are not likely to be charged or even arrested for possessing marijuana. Florida is distinctly different. The Florida penal code does not provide exceptions for the possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Penalties for possession of medical marijuana are the same as those for possession of recreational marijuana. Depending on the quantity of marijuana possessed, you could be convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense, be confined to the county jail or state prison, and receive a suspension of your driver’s license for up to two years.
If you decide relocating to a state that offers medical marijuana programs is the best option for you, be sure to review all of the requirements set out by those programs as they can vary per county or community. Depending on that state’s laws, a doctor might be limited in what he or she can prescribe medical marijuana for, and it may be the case that he or she won't be able to authorize medical marijuana for your condition. The Florida doctor’s opinion can help, but your new doctor in the other state will have the final say.
Federal Laws and Medical Marijuana Use
It might be frustrating for some that Florida has not yet caught up with other states that have enacted medical marijuana reform. However, the issue will be moot as long as state and federal laws conflict. Even though you can possess medical marijuana in California pursuant to state medical marijuana laws, you are still considered in violation of federal statutes. Marijuana is still illegal and prosecuted following federal regulations. You could end up relocating to another state only to be convicted of possession of marijuana by federal prosecutors.
If obtaining medical marijuana is an avenue you are strongly considering, consult with a drug attorney or criminal defense attorney in Florida before you expose yourself to criminal liability. A drug attorney can provide you with the latest update in medical marijuana enforcement procedures and penalties. From there, you can make a decision on how, where, and if you should possess medical marijuana in Florida. Follow this link for more information about Florida Marijuana Laws and Florida Medical Marijuana Laws. You can aso find information about the programs other states have in place for medical marijuana from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.