Drug possession is an offense by someone who did not manufacture, distribute, or sell the controlled substance. Instead, the defendant likely held the controlled substance for personal use. Possession of most controlled substances specified by Florida state laws, except for the medical use of marijuana through a doctor’s recommendation (beginning Jan. 3, 2017), may be charged as a felony. The Florida legislature also recently added bath salts and “Spice” to the list of banned substances. State law allows a first degree misdemeanor charge for simple possession of cannabis — marijuana — in an amount less than twenty grams (unless it is legally obtained for medical use).
The charge of “possession with intent to sell” includes all legal elements of simple possession, but also requires proof of the defendant’s intent to sell or distribute the drugs. The specific charge depends on the type of controlled substance involved in the crime. For example, a state prosecutor may bring a third degree felony charge for marijuana possession with intent to sell. In contrast, possession of cocaine with intent to sell may be charged as a second degree felony.
Florida Drug Possession Laws at a Glance
Additional details about Florida’s drug possession laws are listed below.
|Statutes||Florida Statutes Section 893.13
*Florida’s medical marijuana law will appear in the state constitution (with regulations to follow) when it takes effect on January 3, 2017.
|Statutory Elements of a Drug Possession Charge||
|Drug Possession Charges||First Degree Misdemeanor Possession
Third Degree Felony Possession
First Degree Felony Possession
|Medical Marijuana||*Specific regulations, including maximum amount allowed per patient, are not yet available. You can follow the developments as they are made available by the Florida Office of Compassionate Use.|
Note: State laws are always subject to change. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult with a Florida criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.