A new poll shows Floridians overwhelmingly support legalizing medical marijuana, although questions about regulations remain.
Legalization, however, does not mean people can't still be charged for possession
While the issue of whether Florida should legalize medical marijuana continues to stir up heated controversy, a new poll suggests that Floridians are overwhelmingly in support of legalization, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The poll showed that 88 percent of Floridians support the passage of Amendment 2, which would become part of the state's constitution and allow for the sale and possession of marijuana in Florida for medicinal uses. Voters will have an opportunity to vote on the issue in November.
The poll, by Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, found 88 percent support for Amendment 2 among likely voters. Support appears to cross all age groups and political stripes. While young people showed the greatest support for medical marijuana legalization at 95 percent, even among Republicans support was high at 80 percent.
While even supporters of the amendment concede that the figures from the poll may be a little high, the results nonetheless show that the amendment has a very good chance at succeeding in November. In order to pass, the amendment will need 60 percent of the vote.
Legal questions remain
While support for medical marijuana certainly indicates a shift in attitudes towards marijuana, as the Tampa Bay Times recently pointed out, passage of the amendment will not mean that all forms of marijuana possession or distribution will be treated any lighter by law enforcement agencies.
For one, even if the amendment does pass, it will take until late 2015 or early 2016 before medical marijuana will be legally available in Florida. Additionally, the amendment does not allow people to use medical marijuana while driving a vehicle or boat. Finally, many of the finer details surrounding the amendment will have to be worked out by regulators. For example, it will be up to regulators to decide whether a medical marijuana card from another state can be used to purchase marijuana in Florida and how much marijuana a person can legally possess for medical purposes.
Drug charges in Florida
While Florida may be on the cusp of legalizing medical marijuana, people should be aware that both state and federal authorities still take drug charges, including those involving marijuana, very seriously. In many cases, marijuana possession can lead to a fine, license suspension, and even prison time.
Anybody who is facing a drug charge should contact a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. In the Orlando area, attorney Corey I. Cohen is one of the leaders in drug related cases, with experience as both a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. Since drug laws are constantly evolving, that sort of experience is the best resource a person can have when fighting against a drug related offense.
Keywords: medical marijuana, possession, legalization, drug charges, Florida