Marijuana Legalization: Florida Law

This page provides information on the history of the efforts to legalize/decriminalize marijuana in the United States, with specific information about Florida Laws.

In 2016, voters passed a constitutional amendment known as the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative, (aka Amendment 2). The amendment legalized medical marijuana for individuals with specific debilitating diseases or comparable debilitating conditions as determined by a licensed state physician. It went into effect on January 3, 2017.

Recreational marijuana is still illegal in Florida and carries a felony charge if someone without a prescription for medical marijuana is found in possession of the drug.

Florida Marijuana Law
Code Section893.13, et seq.
  • 3rd degree felony
  • Under 20 grams: 1st degree misdemeanor
  • In excess of 25 lbs. is trafficking (1st degree felony)
  • 3rd degree felony, unless less than 20 grams for no consideration, then 1st degree misdemeanor
  • Penality as in code section 775.082, 083, 084
  • Subsequent offense: 10 years

All sentencing done pursuant to sentencing guidelines

  • 25-2000 lbs: mandatory $25,000 and 3 years
  • 2000-10,000 lbs: mandatory $50,000 and 7 years
  • Over 10,000 lbs: 15 years and mandatory $200,000

Legal Status Of Marijuana In The United States

  • 1937: Federal Law makes marijuana illegal everywhere
  • 1973: Oregon decriminalizes marijuana
    • Marijuana is still criminalized in ~20 states (risk of jail)
  • 1996: California legalizes medical marijuana
    • 38 states have legalized some medical marijuana use
  • 2009: Prosecutions in legal medical marijuana states are a low priority for federal agents if the person is in compliance with state law
  • 2012: Colorado and Washington voters legalize marijuana for recreational use. Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C. follow

No matter what a state's marijuana laws say, marijuana sale and possession is illegal under the Controlled Substance Act. Where federal and state laws clash, federal law always trumps. To date, federal law enforcement agencies haven't shown an interest in prosecuting minor marijuana cases in Colorado and Washington, where recreational use is permitted. But that doesn't mean the federal government has given up on enforcing restrictions on everything from the manufacturing and cultivation to the trafficking and distribution, as well as the possession of marijuana.

Legalization vs. Decriminalization
Intent is to regulate sales Intent is to discourage use
Intent is to collect taxes Intent is to prohibit distribution
Intent is to eliminate the black market Responds to possession of 1 oz. or less of marijuana with treatment and/or a low fine - NO JAIL!
No legal response to use by adults within legal limits Makes marijuana enforcement a low priority for police