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Florida drug law facts to know

Drug laws are in place for the protection of citizens. However, over the years they have been evolving.

For those facing possible drug charges, understanding the law is critical. There are a few key facts about Florida drug laws that people should know.

Amount matters

The amount of a drug that a party has in his or her possession plays a major part in determining the charges that the party may face. For example, the courts may rule that possessing less than 20 grams of marijuana is personal use, while larger amounts may indicate drug trafficking. The latter may lead to federal charges, which may include jail time and large fines.

It is also important to understand that the drugs do not have to be on the person's body to be in his or her possession. The term "possession" refers to whether something is within a person's control. Therefore, if the drugs are within the party's home, belongings, or facility that the party controls, the courts will likely rule that the drugs are in the party's possession.

Use type

In the state of Florida, residents are able to possess marijuana for medicinal purposes, but not for recreational use. This puts Florida in the mixed legal status category. The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is only legal with the proper prescription. Those who are found in possession of marijuana with an expired prescription or an amount greater than what the prescription would reasonably allow may face charges.

Decreased criminalization

Some areas in Florida are striving to decriminalize the possession of marijuana. To accomplish this, they have ordinances in place that allow law enforcement to issue citations for possession of small amounts of marijuana. The citations do still carry a penalty of up to $500 and possible community service, but the result is far more lenient than criminal charges.

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