Florida lawmaker files bill to decriminalize marijuana in Florida

Posted at 11:01 AM, Aug 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-07 11:01:52-04

FLORIDA — A new bill has been filed to decriminalize marijuana in Florida.

Democratic state Rep. Shervin Jones from Broward County filed HB 25 into legislation on Monday, which would decriminalize the possession of certain amounts of marijuana.

The bill would reduce criminal penalties for possession of 20 grams or less of cannabis and products containing 600 milligrams or less of THC.

The proposal also specifies that juveniles arrested for possession of certain amounts of cannabis would be eligible for civil citation or pre-arrest diversion programs on their first offense.

If the bill passes, anyone caught with marijuana will have reduced criminal penalties and consequences, which means less jail time, a smaller fine, a clean criminal record and more.

Under Florida law, possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis is a first-degree misdemeanor with penalties of up to one-year in jail or one-year probation and a $1,000 dollar fine.

Other consequences result in taking your driver’s license away for a year.

If convicted, a person is ineligible for a government job and public housing and it can interfere with college applications and employment.

The new bill would reduce those penalties making it a noncriminal violation rather than a misdemeanor.

If the bill passes, Florida will be the 27th state to decriminalize weed.

The proposal is filed for the 2020 legislative session which starts in January.