After the legalization of recreational marijuana use in Colorado and Washington in the 2012 election, Florida residents may be wondering about similar laws passing in Florida. Florida's legislature has considered the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes in the past but those bills have never made it very far in either the state's house or senate.
After the 2012 election, the Florida Cannabis Action Network made plans to meet with Florida's attorney general to advocate for the reclassification of marijuana - changing it so that is recognized as having medicinal value rather than being classified as an illicit drug like cocaine and heroin. If those talks are successful, the group plans to lobby the legislature to pass a law that will legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes.
According to a spokesperson for FCAN, the public momentum from the last election, public support for the legalization of medical marijuana, and the scientific evidence that supports cannabis' medicinal qualities, means that this campaign should not be a surprise for Florida or for other states.
Arguments for and against medical marijuana laws
Proponents of medical marijuana cite to its medicinal qualities, including treatment for those suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, glaucoma, Alzheimer's and ALS. They also argue that legalizing pot for medicinal uses or recreational uses will increase revenue for the state. The new Colorado law earmarks the first $40 million in non-medical marijuana taxes for education and public schools.
Those against medical marijuana argue that the marijuana laws cost too much money to enforce. Federal law still prohibits possession of marijuana and the dichotomy between state and federal laws could prove expensive. It is unclear the impact that the Colorado and Washington decisions will have. They also argue that marijuana is a "gateway drug" - a drug that will eventually lead to the use of harder drugs like cocaine and heroin. They are concerned that legalizing marijuana will just encourage kids to abuse it.
Arrested for drug crime in Florida?
Currently, marijuana use is still illegal in Florida. If you arrested or charged with possession of marijuana or another drug crime, contact an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney in your area to protect your rights. Even a small amount of pot can have negative consequences that will affect the rest of your life.
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