On behalf of Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A. posted in blog on Saturday, September 16, 2017.
There are many great reasons to head to Florida for a vacation. For example, Fort Lauderdale beaches are clean, user-friendly and safe. They offer an excellent opportunity for relaxing and de-stressing.
However, if you come from a state where marijuana is legal, it is important to know that Florida is strict about its marijuana laws. However, Governor Rick Scott and state lawmakers have loosened the reins on medical marijuana, at least.
Tourists bringing marijuana
When you live in a state where marijuana is okay to use, it is easy to forget that you cannot use it everywhere. So, it can be scary if you end up arrested on marijuana charges while on vacation in Florida. Get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible to explain the situation. Even if the charge is simple possession for personal use, the consequences can be severe. A conviction could show up on employment background checks, for example, and many job applications require you to disclose misdemeanor convictions. Unfortunately, police officers and judges may be unlikely to dismiss your case simply because you tell them that marijuana is legal in your home state. An attorney may be able to approach the case from a slightly different angle or plead the charges down.
In the cases of family vacations or vacations with a group of friends, it is even possible that you did not realize someone in your group brought marijuana. You could end up charged with possession or a similar charge if law enforcement found the marijuana near you or in a suitcase you were carrying.
While the picture with medical marijuana is cheerier now than it used to be, many elements remain untested. If you take medical marijuana in your home state, it can be a good idea to contact a lawyer in Florida before you leave on vacation. Explain your situation, and the lawyer should be able to advise you on how to stay legally compliant during your trip.