The Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act was enacted by the Florida Legislature in 1973 as a state response toward uniformity with the federal drug law that was enacted three years earlier. Known as Chapter 893, it has become the controlling drug law of the state, and its penalties for the use, possession or sale of a wide range of classified drugs are some of the harshest in the nation.
Both federal and state laws place a vast array of illegal and prescription drugs, including marijuana, into five categories, known as schedules. Schedule I is for drugs that have no accepted therapeutic use and a high potential for abuse and addiction, whereas schedules II through V classify drugs according to their potential medical use and decreasing potential for abuse.
Criminalization of drug possession
State legalization of marijuana, especially for medical use, has been an avenue around Title II of the federal law, which lists marijuana as a Schedule I drug. While Florida has begun to allow the sale of medical marijuana, and a number of states have fully legalized the drug, Florida law tends to mirror federal penalties.
Title II also criminalizes the possession of marijuana and other drugs without a prescription. Unfortunately, prosecution for these crimes ensures that individuals suffering from addiction are served harsh sentences as nonviolent criminals, and they tend to keep returning to jail with each new offense.
Drug trafficking in Florida
Florida’s has vast coastlines that make drug trafficking via its waterways a constant threat, as well as proximity to countries in South and Central America that are sources of significant production and trafficking of illegal substances. Floridians are at high risk not only of exposure to these substances but of becoming addicted to them because of easy access and density of trafficking.
Charges in Florida for trafficking substances such as cocaine, marijuana, flakka and opioids can lead to some of the most severe penalties in the country, including:
- 25 pounds or more of cannabis minimum of three years in prison and $25,000 fine
- 28 grams or more of cocaine minimum of three years in prison and $50,000 fine
- Four grams or more of fentanyl, heroin or illegally produced morphine minimum of three years in prison and $50,000 fine
Drug convictions can lead to long prison sentences. When a simple possession case for personal use results in drug trafficking and other charges, it is essential to have a proven criminal defense attorney in Central Florida to help you to fight excessively harsh penalties and minimize the damage done to your life.