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Marijuana and Legality in Florida

You may have heard by now that the Florida Supreme Court has approved the appearance of a proposed constitutional amendment for the legal use of medical marijuana on the November 2014 ballot. What exactly does this mean? In plain language, if the amendment is approved, the use of marijuana for medical reasons will be legal. There will be restrictions on that medical use, but it will be legal Marijuana and Legality in Florida nonetheless.

The first thing Florida residents need to know is that selling, growing and distributing marijuana is currently illegal in the state of Florida. The legality of medical marijuana making its debut on the ballot doesn’t change that.

As it stands right now, Florida Governor Rick Scott has said in the media that he would vote against a medical marijuana ballot initiative, but a ballot initiative being approved by voters can not be vetoed by Scott’s office.

For the amendment to pass it would need 60 percent of the vote to make Florida the 21st state in the United States to make marijuana for medical use legal.

As of February 2014, only twenty states along with the District of Columbia have decriminalized medical marijuana under state law. The Obama administration has suggested that federal prosecutors not charge those who distribute medical marijuana in states where it is legal. However, even if Florida does legalize medical marijuana, selling across state lines would still be a federal offense.

The amendment names cancer, glaucoma, human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV), acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis as the specific medical conditions required to be considered to receive medical marijuana.

In the event the amendment passes in the state of Florida, qualifying patients and doctors would be protected from prosecution/punishment in most cases. Growing marijuana as well as the private distribution and/or private sale of marijuana would continue to be illegal under the proposed amendment.

Image Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1b/DEA_mar_loose.jpg/658px-DEA_mar_loose.jpg

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