Florida senator files major bill to enhance medical marijuana law

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A senator in Florida recently introduced a bill that would legalize medical marijuana and give doctors the authority to prescribe it.

Recently, according to The Huffington Post, a state senator in Florida filed a bill that would expand on the state's current medical marijuana law. If this bill is passed, those who can benefit from using marijuana to ease the pain or discomfort they feel from a medical condition will no longer face drug charges and doctors would be able to prescribe this drug to qualified patients. Under this bill, several specific medical conditions qualify for medical marijuana, which include epilepsy, HIV, AIDS, ALS disease, cancer and any other disease that causes severe pain, nausea or chronic wasting syndrome.

Florida's Amendment 2

Near the end of 2014, a similar bill, known as Amendment 2, was voted on in Florida and would also have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes like this recently proposed legislation. Although a majority of voters supported this proposition, and 57 percent of those who voted approved its passage, The Huffington Post states that it did not pass because the state requires a 60 percent supermajority for a ballot initiative to pass.

However, commenting on the introduction of this new medical marijuana bill, the legislative assistant to the senator sponsoring this legislation said that it is not in response to the proposition that failed in Florida just a few months ago. If this legislation does not pass through the Florida statehouse, it is highly likely that those in the state will be able to vote on the legalization of medical marijuana again in 2016. According to the Miami Herald, the organization, People for United Medical Marijuana, already have plans to begin acquiring the 683,149 signatures needed to get this initiative on the ballot.

Current possession laws

Although medical marijuana may become legal in Florida in the near future, those who possess even a small amount of marijuana to use for medicinal purposes still face serious penalties. For example, the Florida State Legislature states that if a person has marijuana in his or her possession, manufacturers this drug or delivers this drug, he or she will be charged with a felony in the third degree, an offense punishable by a prison sentence that cannot exceed five years.

Those who are charged with possessing marijuana in Florida may have concerns about how a possible conviction will impact their daily life as well as their finances and opportunities for obtaining employment. If you were charged with possessing marijuana or another type of controlled substance, speak with an attorney in your area to find out what you can do to ensure your legal rights are protected.

Keywords: marijuana, drug, charge