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The Florida Bar

Medical Marijuana a Defense to Possession Charges?

Legalization of marijuana possession and use for medicinal purposes has been approved in Florida following a 71% majority vote in Florida. If you are caught possessing the substance, however, without a valid medical marijuana identification card and prescription, don’t expect to use the “I was using it for medicinal purposes” excuse.

Not a Defense to Arrests for Drug Possession

Even prior to enactment, our criminal defense law firm in South Florida received numerous calls from individuals who’d been arrested for possessing marijuana who wished to defend the charges by claiming their use was medicinal in nature. Many believed that the fact that they were using it for “medical” reasons might be some form of defense following an arrest, however, this is simply not the case claims Defense Lawyer William Moore who practices in Fort Lauderdale.

May Legally Possess Marijuana if Criteria Met

Under Florida’s medical marijuana laws, it is not a crime to obtain specially grown low-grade marijuana provided that you meet certain requirements. Specifically, only individuals suffering from a debilitating medical condition who are under the care of a licensed Florida physician. Florida residents wishing to obtain the drug must have a written certification from their physician to this effect and must also be in possession of a lawfully obtained medical marijuana ID card. Even then, it is not within the discretion of the afflicted to possess any strain marijuana other than that which has been grown by one of the few licensed nurseries regulated by the state and dispensed by a licensed distributor.

Must Possess State Regulated Dispensed Marijuana

I anticipate that we will see cases involving individuals with all of the valid credentials who were arrested for possessing marijuana that was purchased from a dealer as opposed to a dispensary for which they were written a prescription. It will be much the same situation as when someone is arrested for possessing prescription medication that is of the same type for which they are prescribed but not the same milligram. In those cases, the defendant is not shielded from illegally possessing a substance that was obtained from some other source than a pharmacy in conformance with their script. For example, if you have a 40 mg OxyContin in your possession and you try to defend on the basis that you are prescribed the medication, that defense will fail if your prescription is for 80 mg. – William Moore

Police Officers Trained to Recognise

We can expect that police officers will be trained extensively when it comes to being able to identify medically prescribed marijuana as opposed to “street level.” It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds. I think that when it comes to people on probation, individuals entitled to legally possess the substance may be shielded from random drug tests provided there probation terms allow them to continue using marijuana as part of their prescribed treatment claims Moore.

Questions for the Attorney

Questions regarding the legality of possessing marijuana for medicinal purposes should be directed to attorney William Moore at 110 SE 6th St #1713, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 or by calling (954) 523-5333. William Moore has defended drug crimes in South Florida for the past 20 years and is an avid speaker and writer on criminal defense litigation and strategy pertaining to drug cases.

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William is an amazing lawyer on the first day he took my case from a felony to a misdemeanor. He always answered my calls and text messages, never a problem. He was always the one in court not sending someone else, unlike my last lawyer. 10/10 would recommend. If I ever have any other problems, he will be the first person I call. Shane B.