Though many states across the country have chosen to decriminalize marijuana or make it legal for recreational use, the federal government still classifies it as a Schedule I substance with a high potential for abuse and without any accepted medical use.
Florida has chosen to step outside of the federal mandate by allowing for medical marijuana use across the state, but it has made no legal changes to decriminalize the drug in any way.
This means that healthcare professionals across the state need to be careful about the current rules and regulations around obtaining a medical marijuana card as well as what the penalties are for possessing more than is legally allowed.
What Are the Medical Marijuana Card Laws in Florida?
When it comes to obtaining a medical marijuana card, Florida medical marijuana laws are simple. To get a card, one must be diagnosed with a condition that is or is like AIDS, cancer, epilepsy, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s, MS, glaucoma, or other disorders that are characterized by high anxiety, chronic pain, or another symptom that has been shown to be managed by the use of any part of the marijuana plant.
There is also such a thing as a caregiver card. This card is given to someone who is not in need of medical marijuana personally but is allowed to purchase and carry the drug on behalf of someone who does have a medical marijuana card and may not be able to procure the drug themselves.
What Other Laws Does Florida Use to Manage Medical Marijuana Use?
Those who hold a medical marijuana card or caregiver card may possess up to 4 ounces of marijuana at any given time, but no more.
It is illegal to use marijuana in any public place unless it is a low-cannabis form or edible.
Despite holding a medical marijuana card, Florida law stipulates that it is still illegal to use or possess marijuana recreationally.
It is also illegal to possess more than the 4-ounce maximum.
What Are the Penalties for Breaking Florida Marijuana Laws?
Depending on the amount of marijuana in a person’s possession and whether or not they intend to sell the substance, the individual could get anywhere from 1 to 30 years in prison and up to a $200,000 fine.
Doctors who are found to be distributing medical marijuana cards without the proper certification or when it is not medically necessary can also face steep legal punishments, including fines, incarceration, and losing their ability to practice medicine. If you are facing charges of violating Florida medical marijuana laws while working as a medical provider, contact Florida Healthcare Law Firm to learn more about your options.