Will I Go to Jail for Marijuana Possession in Florida?
If you have been charged with possession of marijuana in Florida, you are likely concerned about what comes next legally. Many visitors to Florida are surprised to learn that the state has relatively strict drug laws. In the absence of a medical-use license, it is illegal to use or possess marijuana in Florida, even in small amounts. In other words, medical use is legal (with a valid medical I.D.), but recreational use is not. The qualifying conditions for a medical I.D. card in Florida are fairly broad, but they are only helpful if you have one prior to possession.
Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Florida
Possession of up to 20 grams of marijuana constitutes a misdemeanor, which an accompanying penalty of up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine. Possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana is a felony, with an accompanying penalty of up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The delivery of small amounts of marijuana (20 grams or less) carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a fine of $1,000. Delivery of up to 25 pounds of marijuana carries a potential sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $5,000.
Certain aggravating factors may significantly affect the penalties. For instance, selling or delivering marijuana within a 1,000 foot radius of a school, college, or park constitutes a felony, carrying a possible sentence of 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The maximum possible charge for marijuana possession carries a 30-year prison sentence.
It is also important to note that some counties in Florida give police officers discretion to issue a civil infraction or a criminal charge for possession of small amounts of marijuana (under 20 grams). So depending on the county you are caught in, the penalties can vary significantly.