At What Point Does Florida Law Consider Marijuana Possession A Felony?
Marijuana might just be one of the most debated issues in recent years. While it’s legality keeps being discussed at both the state and federal level, one thing remains true — under Florida state law, it is not legal. Florida law makes a clear distinction, setting a point at which the person is considered to be holding more of the drug than needed for personal use — at which point, it becomes a felony.
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“There’s a break point, for example, from misdemeanor to felony — and it has to do with quantity, but that quantity only applies to marijuana. If you’ve got under 20 grams of marijuana, that’s a misdemeanor — 19.9 grams, maximum penalty a year in jail and maybe $1,000 fine — 20.1 grams you can get 5 years in prison. There’s got to be a break point.
It may not seem fair for that little bit of a difference, but you’ve got to switch over some place. And the legislature has decided if you’ve got over 20 grams, we’re going to call that a felony — and it’s premised on the assumption that if you’ve got more than 20 grams, you’ve probably got more than you’re using yourself. That doesn’t always hold true. People shop at Costco and they buy cans of goods more than they intend to use in one meal because they get it less per ounce, if you will, whenever they buy it in larger quantities.
You may very well wind up being purely a user, but still having over 20 grams. If you do that, however, and you’re caught, it’s a felony. With other drugs; cocaine, there’s a whole list of drugs in Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes, hundreds of drugs, and if you’re found in possession of those without a prescription without authority to be in possession of those, that’s a felony right off the bat.”