If you have been arrested for a drug offense or know someone who has, there is a very real possibility that the illicit drug involved was marijuana. Despite growing acceptance of marijuana use, laws that decriminalize possession and the potential reclassification of marijuana as a Schedule II drug, it remains an illegal drug on the federal level and in states like Florida.
However, recent reports from Colorado, where marijuana has been legalized, could lead to even more support for decriminalization. According to statistics gathered from 2014 and 2015, the rate of marijuana use among teens in states where it has been legalized has not skyrocketed, as expected. It has actually stayed the same.
The study found that fears over increased use by teens and adults are currently unrealized. According to sources including The Washington Post, the fact that legalizing the drug has not led to an increase in use can be linked to the fact that even before legalization, marijuana was easily accessible.
In other words, people who wanted to use marijuana were already using it. And though there are discrepancies between the number of teens using marijuana in the states where it is legal, studies thus far are consistent in saying that legalization has not led to increased use and risks to teens.
So what does this mean for people in Florida and other states where marijuana is still illegal? At this point, it may not seem like it means much to us. However, this study is yet another indication that fears regarding marijuana usage have been blown out of proportion, which could have an impact on lawmakers in this state.
Currently, huge numbers of people in Florida are being sentenced to prison for crimes like possession of marijuana. They get strapped with a criminal record and harsh penalties that can destroy their future, thanks to mandatory minimums; all for activity that is legal in other states.
Unless and until marijuana laws change in Florida, people will continue to face serious repercussions for marijuana possession and sales. If you are among this group, you can fight to protect yourself and your future by working with an attorney to defend against the allegations and seek dismissal or reduction in charges.