A year ago, the City of Tampa chose to decriminalize the possession of small quantities of non-medical marijuana (up to 20 grams). Those found carrying this amount of marijuana are now charged with a civil infraction that carries fines rather than a first degree misdemeanor which could result in jail time.
New state-wide medical marijuana rules make it legal for those with a valid prescription to purchase, carry and use this drug. While it is legal to consume marijuana and marijuana related products as a medication, it must be taken responsibly.
Medical Marijuana and DUI
Medical marijuana centers have opened throughout the state, with several located in the Tampa Bay area. As these centers continue to spread and become visible to the public, it creates a sense of normalization about the consumption of marijuana. However, you can still be arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana even if you have a medical marijuana license. You cannot be under the influence to the point that your normal faculties are impaired. If this occurs, you can and will be arrested for DUI of a controlled substance (marijuana) and may be subjected to field sobriety tests.
Florida’s medical and non-medical marijuana laws are still evolving and can create confusion with the public and law enforcement personnel. For this reason, if you are using medical marijuana to manage your condition and are arrested for a DUI (even on the weekend), it is critical that you contact an experienced DUI attorney who understands how to defend you.
Ben Stechschulte is a board certified criminal defense attorney with extensive experience representing clients facing alcohol and drug-related DUI charges. He understands the changing legal status of marijuana in both medical and recreational uses, and can provide the best representation possible. If you were charged with a DUI and are consuming medical marijuana, contact our Tampa, FL law firm today to schedule a free case consultation.