Can FL Medical Card Holders Still Get Arrested For Marijuana Possession?

Even though Florida legalized medical marijuana with its passage of Amendment 2 in 2016, there have still been countless citizens arrested for marijuana possession despite having a medical card.

Keep reading to learn how to stay on the right side of Florida medical marijuana laws and what to do if you find yourself in legal trouble.

Can FL Medical Card Holders Still Get Arrested For Marijuana Possession?

Florida's Medical Marijuana Laws

Despite being a medical marijuana cardholder, there are a few laws that could land you in legal trouble if they were to be broken. Being aware of these laws can prevent unintentional violations and ensure that you can continue your treatment with confidence and legal peace of mind.

Marijuana Possession Limits

Under Florida law, qualifying patients are permitted to possess up to a 70-day supply of medical cannabis, with the statutory limit being set at 2.5 ounces of whole-flower cannabis or its equivalent in different forms, such as oils, edibles, or tinctures.

Possession of amounts exceeding this can lead to legal consequences, including arrest for marijuana possession. To comply with state regulations, make sure to carry your medical marijuana card at all times.

Medical Marijuana Purchasing And Packaging Laws

Cardholders are only lawfully permitted to possess and use medical cannabis that’s been specifically prescribed to them. Possession of medical cannabis prescribed to another person, even as a cardholder, is against the law and may result in legal action for marijuana possession. Always ensure that any product in your possession is registered in your name, as Florida law requires.

Patients must purchase their medical marijuana from state-licensed medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTCs), commonly known as dispensaries. These centers are the only approved outlets for legal transactions and are monitored to ensure compliance with state dispensary regulations, including those related to maximum amounts for patients and product types. Purchases made outside of these facilities are illegal and aren’t protected by a medical marijuana card, regardless of the cardholder's status or intentions.

It's also important for cardholders to know that all sales are tracked through the registry for medical marijuana use, with each transaction being linked to the individual patient's ID. This system prevents abuse and protects patients by ensuring they and their providers adhere to state-established possession limits.

Navigating the legal process requires a strategic approach and an understanding of the intricacies of the justice system after an arrest for marijuana possession with a medical card in Florida. It’s important that you partner with legal counsel who will skillfully guide you through the steps, ensuring that your rights are protected and advocating for the most favorable outcome on your behalf.

The Role Of A Specialized Attorney

An attorney who specializes in drug law and has experience with Florida medical marijuana regulations can make the difference between a favorable outcome and an adverse one. They have the expertise to guide you through the legal maze and know your rights, the intricacies of state law, and the overall implications of your case intimately.

Your lawyer will closely examine the allegations against you, evaluate evidence, and develop a solid defense strategy. Not only will they defend your case in court, but they’ll also assist you during interrogations, advise you on possible mitigations, and ensure that your rights as a medical marijuana patient are protected throughout the process. They become your advocate, voice, and an indispensable resource in pursuing justice.

Examining And Documenting The Arrest's Circumstances

Your attorney will provide a detailed account of where and how the arrest happened, the actions and statements of the law enforcement officers involved, and any interactions that occurred before and after the arrest.

They’ll want to know everything from the reason the police initially approached you to how and when you disclosed your medical marijuana card. Your attorney will also ask whether the officers conducted themselves within legal protocols and respected your rights during the arrest. Comprehensive documentation of these details not only aids in building a robust case but can also identify any procedural missteps that could play a significant role in your defense.

Gathering Evidence

Your attorney will help you compile various forms of evidence, including medical records that verify your qualifying condition for medical marijuana use, prescription details, and proof of purchase from a licensed dispensary. This evidence affirms your legal right to use cannabis for medical purposes and demonstrates compliance with state laws.

Additionally, obtaining a copy of the police report will provide a clear depiction of the arrest from law enforcement's perspective. Your criminal defense attorney will review this closely for any inconsistencies or areas that may bolster your case. Witness statements, surveillance footage, or photographs from the scene can also serve as compelling evidence for your defense.

Remember, the goal is to create an evidence-based narrative that supports your case beyond a reasonable doubt.

It can be nerve-wracking if you've found yourself on the wrong side of the law, even with a medical card in hand. However, a spectrum of possible legal outcomes hinge on numerous factors.

Case Dismissal Based On Compliance

One of the most favorable outcomes is the dismissal of your claim. This may be the case if you can prove absolute compliance with Florida medical marijuana regulations. Should your attorney be able to prove that you possessed an amount within the legal limit, that the cannabis was packaged correctly, and that you were legally certified as a medical marijuana patient at the time of arrest, the case against you may no longer hold water.

The more evidence of compliance you have, the stronger your argument for dismissal of the case. Receipts from licensed dispensaries, your patient status on the registry for medical marijuana use, and a valid and current medical card are important as you work toward this outcome.

Negotiating For Leniency In The Case Of Minor Violations

If you've accidentally stepped outside the legal boundaries—perhaps by carrying slightly above the prescribed limit—negotiation is key. Even with these mishaps, there's room for leniency, especially if these infractions are represented as minor and unintentional.

In these instances, an attorney can advocate for reduced charges, particularly if you have a clean record and compelling medical necessity. This could range from attending a drug education program to community service or, in some cases, deferred adjudication, which may eventually lead to the charges being dismissed.

Consequences Of Non-Compliance

If you’re found to be in non-compliance with Florida medical marijuana laws, the protections of your medical card may not apply. This could lead to criminal charges with harsher penalties, such as fines and possible jail time.

The consequences are more severe for repeated offenses or if the offense involves distribution or intent to sell. The state treats these offenses seriously, so compliance is important. If you're facing such charges, an experienced criminal defense attorney familiar with drug law’s intricacies is necessary.

Call Us Now To Fight Your Marijuana Arrest

Are you a medical marijuana cardholder facing drug charges after an unexpected arrest? We understand how stressful it can be to be charged with a crime, especially when you’ve done nothing to deserve the arrest.

Call the Weinstein Legal Team at 888.626.1108 or click here to schedule a free case review with an experienced defense attorney.

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