Medical marijuana use is a topic of frequent discussion in Florida and throughout the United States. Many people believe the drug has shown promise in treating various medical issues, including chronic pain and seizures. However, there is a significant disconnect in state and federal laws relating to marijuana use in both medical and recreational applications. This legal conflict may create confusion about whether marijuana use is subject to prosecution.
CBS News reports that Florida recently legalized medical marijuana use. The legislation allowing medical marijuana passed in 2016 with over 70% of the vote. In early 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill making it legal to use smokable medical marijuana with a valid prescription. The CBS report indicates that it may take some time for residents to see the results of the new legislation and to have access to smokable medical marijuana.
Although Florida considers medical marijuana use legal, the U.S. government does not. The Drug Enforcement Administration indicates that marijuana is still listed as a Schedule I drug in the Controlled Substances Act. This means that the Food and Drug Administration has not approved marijuana for any medical uses. Additionally, the government considers Schedule I drugs to have a high risk of abuse and to be unsafe for use under medical supervision.
According to the DEA, there may be severe legal penalties, including fines and prison time, for using, possessing and/or trafficking marijuana. Because the FDA and federal legal codes have authority over state laws in this area, a person may face federal criminal charges even if he or she uses marijuana within the bounds of Florida’s laws on acceptable medical use.