The Boynton Beach City Commission is to vote Tuesday night on whether or not they should have a medical marijuana hearing on October 21, 2014. If the commission votes in favor of the hearing, Boynton Beach citizens would be able to discuss whether or not the city should ban businesses in the city from producing or distributing medical marijuana. A potential ban could last up to 1 year.

The ban would depend upon whether Amendment 2 to the November Ballot is passed. Presently, as of January 1, 2015, authorized Florida doctors may begin writing prescriptions for authorized strains of marijuana. However, the passage of Amendment 2 would allow for much broader medical use of marijuana. Amendment 2 proposes legalizing marijuana for a wide range of conditions, including but not limited to: cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis or other conditions a doctor believes it likely that the benefit of the medical use of marijuana would outweigh the potential health risks. Additionally, the proposed amendment would allow for smoking marijuana, instead of solely permitting the ingestion of a cannabis oil. Thus, the concern in Boynton Beach is of the unforeseen impact that the opening of medical marijuana stores would have on the city.

It is important to note that Florida marijuana laws still do not authorize the private/recreational use or growing of marijuana. Possession of Marijuana (without a prescription) is prosecuted as a violation of Florida Statute 893.13; possession of under 20 grams of marijuana constitutes a misdemeanor in the state of Florida, punishable by up to 1 year in the county jail, possession of 25 pounds of marijuana, or 300 or more marijuana plants constitutes a first degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in Florida State Prison.

Drug charges are serious and are heavily prosecuted in the State of Florida. Anyone facing marijuana charges in Palm Beach County should contact a knowledgeable Palm Beach Criminal Defense attorney.

Casey Reiter is an associate attorney at Stuart R. Manoff & Associates, P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida, practicing in the areas of Criminal Defense and Marital Law.

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