Florida is one of many states that created medical exceptions to the general prohibition of marijuana use. Don’t let that fool you into thinking the consequences outside medical marijuana are not severe.
Possession of any amount of marijuana not in compliance with any medical exception is a criminal act. Possession of fewer than 20 grams is a first degree misdemeanor punishable up to a year in county jail. While a misdemeanor charge is not that severe in the grand scheme of things, there are numerous other consequences for a conviction. Notably among them is a 1 year revocation of your driver’s license.
Possession of any amount of marijuana more than 20 grams ratchets up to a felony. A third degree felony carries the possibility of 5 years in a state prison along with other possible collateral consequences for being a convicted felon.
Possessing any amount of Cocaine is a felony. Similarly to a conviction for possession of marijuana, cocaine possession also has the collateral effect of a driver’s license revocation.
Florida statute 893.135 makes it a first degree felony to buy, sell, grow, or possess more than 25 pounds. That same law also holds a statutory minimum prison sentence of 3 years. The penalties grow with the weight. At the top of the chart, over 5 tons of marijuana will land you a minimum of 15 calendar years. Any conviction for trafficking marijuana simultaneously carries steep monetary fines; ranging from $25,000–$200,000
It only takes 28 grams of cocaine to be considered trafficking. Similar to marijuana, trafficking cocaine is a first degree felony that carries a minimum prison sentence of 3 years. Trafficking in cocaine is different when the amount is high enough: it carries a mandatory, minimum sentence of life. This last category is only modified when a death is linked to trafficking turning it from a first degree felony to a capital felony. The monetary fines for trafficking cocaine are also more severe than marijuana; starting at $50,000 for 28 grams or more.
Trafficking in meth only takes 14 grams. The penalties are similar to those of cocaine with minimum prison penalties of 3 years and minimum fines of $50,000.
Other notable considerations
There are also penalties for trafficking in various other schedule I and II drugs as well. Beyond the actual trafficking charge, the Florida statute further makes it a first degree felony to join any trafficking conspiracy, no matter the substance. Conspiracy charges are also punished at the same level of any trafficking charge.
21 U.S.C. § 841 criminalizes trafficking on a federal level. Federal trafficking codes are extensive and contain many nuances and enhancements. But, at their core, there are minimums provided.
28 grams of cocaine, 1 gram of LSD, 100 kilograms of marijuana (or 100 plants), or 5 grams of methamphetamine carries a minimum term of 5 years in federal prison.
280 grams of cocaine, 10 grams of LSD, 1000 kilograms of marijuana (or 1000 plants), or 50 grams of methamphetamine carries a minimum term of 10 years in federal prison.