Florida Lawmaker Refiles Statewide Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTLV) — Following an unsuccessful attempt last session, state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith of Orlando refiled legislation last week to decriminalize the unlawful possession of “personal use” quantities of cannabis statewide, an initiative that has gained traction with the rise of medical marijuana.

If passed, House Bill 1203 would reclassify misdemeanor criminal offenses for the possession of up to 20 grams of marijuana as noncriminal civil violations. More importantly, citizens would no longer face the possibility of arrest for possessing what is now widely regarded as a form of medicine.

Adults would instead be assessed civil fines of no more than $100 or up to 15 hours of community service. Those under the age of 18 would automatically be ordered to complete community service, a drug awareness program or potentially both.

The term “personal use quantity of cannabis,” as read in the bill, is defined as 20 grams or less of cannabis. However, no more than five grams of the cannabis in question may be resin “extracted from or concentrates derived from cannabis.”

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Source: Cannabis Business Times

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