Medical Marijuana Legal in Florida – So Now What?

Florida voters backed a constitutional amendment to approve medical marijuana, which broadens the very limited therapeutic uses lawmakers in the Sunshine State approved two years ago. The current law does grant permission for those with cancer or other serious conditions that cause seizures or spasms to use low-THC derivatives (so long as they aren’t smoked) for treatment of their conditions. Amendment 2 will mean people with many other conditions will be eligible to receive the drug.

Now, people can get the drug to treat not only cancer or seizures, but also: Epilepsy, AIDS, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, amytrophic lateral sclerosis, Chrohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. The statute also allows doctors to prescribe marijuana for any similar type of ailment.

The measure was personally backed by a number of criminal defense and personal injury lawyers in the state. It passed with a noteworthy 71 percent of the vote. Still, it is likely to be months before any of the approximately 450,000 people who actually qualify for the drug will be able to get it.

Further, there is the not-so-simple matter of how this is actually going to work. Until then, we need to bear in mind a few things:

Marijuana is still illegal under federal law;

Those caught trafficking (growing, packaging, selling or distributing) will likely face severe penalties under both state and federal statutes;

Possession of marijuana can still result in legal trouble.

This makes Florida the 26th state (plus the District of Columbia) to legalize marijuana for medicinal use.

Florida lawmakers still have to come together to hammer out rules for how the law is going to be implemented and regulated. That process isn’t even going to start until March. In order for patients to qualify, Amendment 2 requires patients to have a three-month doctor-patient relationship with the physician who is prescribing the drug, and that doctor has to be licensed by the state to do so. The Department of Health will be responsible for regulating how the medicine can be distributed, along with requiring identification cards for patients and caregivers.

Meanwhile, opponents of the amendment said they intend to turn their attentions to the legislature to work on tighter restrictions. They want bans on marijuana-infused candy and limits on how much THC in one’s bloodstream can be considered intoxicating for DUI purposes.

They also want to ensure local communities have the power to prohibit the opening of brick-and-mortar stores. Already, as the Miami Herald reported, Miami Beach has passed a four-month ban on medical marijuana dispensaries – which begins after the two-month moratorium built into Amendment 2 expires.

As it currently stands, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana is a first-degree misdemeanor. Possession per F.S. 893.13(6) may be considered “actual” or “constructive” in nature. Penalties depend on how much of the drug was possessed. If the amount is less than 20 grams, it’s considered a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail, one year on probation and a $1,000 fine.

Other penalties for possession may include:

Mandatory driver’s license revocation;

Ineligibility for certain government employment;

Ineligibility for certain forms of state aid/ scholarships;

Ineligibility for public housing;

Interference with prospects for employment/ college.

Even in communities (Broward County, for example) that have passed ordinances de-criminalizing marijuana possession, law enforcement officers often still have discretion. In Palm Beach County, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw has vowed not to use the civil citation program.

While this new measure is encouraging, it is by no means the end of marijuana prohibition. Our Miami marijuana lawyers are committed to representing the rights of those who face criminal marijuana charges.

Contact the Miami criminal defense lawyers at Jacobs Keeley at (305) 358-7991 for a free consultation on your pending criminal matter.

Additional Resources:

John Morgan credits voter turnout for medical marijuana approval, Nov. 8, 2016, Associated Press

If Prop 64 Passes, Will We See More Marijuana-DUI Traffic Collisions?

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how California DUI law could be affected generally should voters pass Proposition 64 this coming November.

If you haven’t read it, here’s the gist:

If Prop. 64 is approved, California would legalize recreational marijuana this November 8th. As the sixth largest economy in the world and an already existing thriving medical marijuana market, it is estimated that the marijuana industry could become a $6 billion industry by 2020.

While THC is the psychoactive component of marijuana that is detected in cases of DUI of marijuana, there is no way to determine how impaired someone is regardless of how much THC is in their system Unlike alcohol, there is not an established correlation between THC and impairment. As a result, a number of companies are racing to create a roadside test to determine impairment of marijuana rather than just presence of THC.

If Prop. 64 passes, there are many more questions that need answering. One of these questions is whether we will see more marijuana-DUI traffic collisions.

The Los Angeles Times consulted with Beau Kilmer, senior researcher at RAND Corp. specializing in drug policy and co-author of the book “Marijuana Legalization” to ask the very same question.

The Los Angeles Times made mention of the fact that AAA announced last week that it was opposing efforts to legalize marijuana in California and Maine citing statistics showing an increase in marijuana related fatal collisions in Washington, a recreational marijuana state. While AAA opposed Prop. 64, it also conceded, “While the data analyzed for the study did not include enough information to determine which driver was at fault in a given crash.”

To this Kilmer responded, “The bulk of the research suggests that driving drunk is worse than driving stoned, but driving stoned is worse than driving sober. The research suggests that when people are under the influence of both marijuana and alcohol, it does increase the probability of getting into a crash.”

But, he added, “If you are going to be objective about this and you really want to know how marijuana legalization is going to affect traffic safety, you don’t just look at the number of people in crashes who are testing positive for THC. You want to look at total crashes and total accidents. It might be the case that yeah, more people are driving stoned, but some of them are now less likely to drive drunk.”

Kilmer added that the studies are not definitive.

Kilmer’s statements are correct in that, if we are to be objective about this, we can’t just look at AAA’s cited statistic. Just because a person has THC in their system at the time of a collision does not mean that the person is driving under the influence. What’s more, it may be that the amount DUI of alcohol related collisions have reduced since the legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy attorney – Gregory K Stern in Chicagoland

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Phase 11 Bankruptcy is most typically referred to as a reconstruction personal bankruptcy. It is used by businesses, Talk to our Chicago chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer primarily companies, dealing with economic devastation. This could be the result of criminal difficulties within, a slowing down economic climate, new competitors, or any one of several reasons. Despite the reason, when an entrepreneur deals with debts the business is unable to pay, Chapter 11 is the frequently the favored path to recuperation.

Exactly what is Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?

People can not declare Chapter 11 Bankruptcy since it is specifically-geared to assisting service entities recoup from excessive financial obligation. Rather than Chapter 7, which will entirely sell off, that is, close and/or sell the business, Our Chicago chapter 11 bankruptcy attorneys can help you today. Chapter 11 is a method of reorganizing financial obligation in order to maintain the service operational.

Chapter 11, just like a Chapter 7 may be volunteer or involuntary. An involuntary application for Chapter 11 could take place when 3 or even more creditors face cases exceeding $10,000 which are undisputed, yet not paid.

Exactly how Does Chapter 11 Impact a Business?

A service which submits for Chapter 11 insolvency arises more powerful. This is due to the fact that the majority of typically, the reason of the insolvency is normally removed during the procedures. The reason could be inadequate audit procedures, embezzlement by a company officer, a changing economic situation, or something else. Learn more about Chicago Bankruptcy

In the situation of a Chapter 11 personal bankruptcy, the Court policemans will certainly check out practically every aspect of business and also guides. The purpose is to assist business get a handle on their debts as well as bring back business to economic health and wellness with restructuring of debt.

Because of this, lots of companies are stunned to find troubles they cannot see prior to the restructuring. Hence, once the Court has actually completed the Chapter 11 restructuring, the company has the ability to progress unimpeded.

Just how Does Chapter 11 Restructuring Take Place?

When the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy application is submitted with the United States Bankruptcy Court, there are two costs which need to be paid. One is an admin charge of $550 and the other is a filing fee of $1,167. Filing with the court will certainly require the complying with information …

  • The debtor’s name
  • Social safety and security number or EIN
  • Address of home
  • Principal properties (if a service)
  • Location of possessions
  • The borrower’s strategy (if one has been made) or intent to submit such
  • A request for alleviation each Chapter 11

Per 11 U.S. Code § 1101, you could after that be called a”debtor in possession.” This is a term utilized to represent that Chapter 11 has actually been submitted as well as you preserve control of properties throughout reconstruction.

A service proprietor will certainly end up being a borrower in belongings because they operate the business. As the owner and driver of the firm, they will carry out the exact same responsibilities as a trustee would. Actually, basic trustees are seldom appointed to Chapter 11 personal bankruptcies. An example of an exception would certainly be where the business entered uncontrolled Chapter 11 since the CEO is encountering criminal fees. In such situations, a trustee would certainly be needed to preserve the daily procedure of business during the personal bankruptcy proceedings. This is not to be perplexed with the United States trustee which will certainly administer the restructuring strategy.

Per 11 U.S.C. § 1125, there have to be filed with the court a disclosure statement in addition to a reconstruction strategy. This statement will certainly include the needed info pertaining to company possessions and also liabilities. On top of that, details about the general company procedure pertaining to these possessions and also responsibilities must be consisted of. The purpose is to supply the Court with enough details to either approve or refuse the restructuring strategy. Normally, a lot of local business will certainly not should consist of a disclosure statement since the financials are fairly easy.

Corporations on the other hand typically have properties and responsibilities bound in a variety of monetary structures including …

  • Bonds
  • Returns
  • Investors equity
  • Supply
  • Treasury stock
  • Different divisions
  • And also a lot more

Consequently, the financials of a large firm are not generally basic to unravel. The Bankruptcy Court thus looks for added explanation to much better enable it to determine whether the restructuring plan under Chapter 11 is viable or otherwise.

Lenders will certainly have the possibility to vote on the Chapter 11 restructuring strategy. If these believe the plan to be sound, it will after that be presented at a confirmation hearing held by the Court. If the Court then approves the strategy, it is tape-recorded as ‘validated.’

The strategy after that moves on with a five-year repayment routine preventing any kind of extra difficulties by lenders.

Once the Chapter 11 Reorganization Plan is Confirmed, What Happens Next?

Presuming the borrower in possession remains in cost of business, a U.S. trustee is appointed to the situation for monitoring. This U.S. Trustee will play a big role in making sure that the management of the Chapter 11 reconstruction plan removals onward as intended.

As instructed by 11 U.S. Code § 341, the U.S. trustee will certainly consult with lenders as well as all equity holders. The purpose of this conference is to take a look at actions, conduct, real assets, and how the instance will be carried out moving on.

Often, there will be demands enforced which the debtor in possession will need to abide. Several of these typically include:

  • monthly revenue records
  • running expenditure reports
  • the opening of brand-new savings account
  • the repayment of taxes, specifically staff member withholding
  • other demands established forth by the U.S. trustee

Additionally, there will certainly be a quarterly charge in between $325 and also $30,000 paid to the United States trustee till the case is wrapped up.

Failing to abide by the requirements stated by the U.S. trustee can result in a movement to convert the situation to a different chapter. In various other words, failure to conform with these orders can result in a company owner losing his/her company.

At the workplace of Gregory K. Stern, P.C. Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Attorneys for Chicago, we understand just how to aid customers endure a Chapter 11 personal bankruptcy restructuring. If you believe your business may need to petition the Courts for Chapter 11 reorganization, call us at 312-427-1558 today.

We offer a free examination and also will certainly respond to all your questions. Our office is comfortably located at 53 West Jackson Boulevard, Suite 1442, Chicago, Illinois 60604. Call currently.