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Arrested for marijuana? Have medical issues? The Florida medical marijuana necessity defense may save you.

The State of Florida is in the midst of a debate regarding the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. Eighteen states currently allow marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes. Polls indicate that a growing number of Florida citizens support the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. Unfortunately, though, the Florida legislature has not yet blazed the path toward legalization. And as a result, people with legitimate medical issues that are alleviated by marijuana are regularly arrested and jailed in Sarasota County and throughout Florida for cultivating and possessing marijuana.

If you have been arrested for marijuana possession, and you use marijuana to treat medical issues, you need to be aware that, although marijuana is currently a controlled substance, the Florida courts still recognize a concept referred to as the "medical marijuana necessity defense".

It all started after two Floridians, a husband and wife, were arrested, charged, and convicted in a trial court for cultivation of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. During their bench trial (a trial held before a judge as opposed to a jury) they essentially argued that 'yes, they used marijuana, but it was necessary to treat the very serious symptoms of their advanced AIDS.' They presented several witnesses—including medical doctors—who testified to the horrible symptoms that the defendants were suffering, as well as the benefits of marijuana in alleviating the symptoms.

Nevertheless, the trial court did not recognize the marijuana medical necessity defense, convicted them, and they later appealed. The appellate court reversed their convictions and acquitted them of the charges. The appellate court held that Florida law does not preclude one from utilizing the medical marijuana necessity defense.

What this means is that there is controlling legal precedent acknowledging the necessity defense specifically regarding marijuana use and cultivation. And because this precedent exists, courts throughout Florida are required to acknowledge and follow it. In layman's terms, if you have been arrested and charged with cultivation and possession of marijuana and you use marijuana to treat a serious medical condition, this defense is available to you in fighting your charge.

The attorneys of Soler and Slack, P.A. have both prosecuted and defended hundreds of people charged with marijuana and drug crimes. Let us fight for you. Please call to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation.

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