Florida Defendant Says He Used Marijuana out of Medical Necessity

Monday, June 16, Governor Rick Scott signed into a law a bill that has legalized one marijuana strain known as "Charlotte's Web", a strain that is low in the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compound that creates highs, and is used to help those suffering from cancer, epilepsy, and Lou Gehrig's disease. This bill prohibits smoking this strain of marijuana, however, but it can be ingested as an oil or vapor.

That same Monday, a court case proceeded in which a 50-year-old man has been charged of felony marijuana possession. As jury selection starts in his trial, he and his lawyer are trying to argue the defense of medical necessity, as the marijuana use is said to counter a nearly lifelong eating disorder the defendant suffers from. The defendant is said to have had chronic anorexia since childhood, and marijuana is the only thing he found that could create an appetite and neutralize nausea.

Even though the strain of marijuana used is not covered by the newly signed law, can this medical necessity defense work? Prosecutors on the case don't think that this type of marijuana use is legally protected, but this type of defense just might sway a jury.

And soon, new laws might change how prosecutors can pursue marijuana cases. Amendment 2 also looms on the horizon, when Florida voters will be asked to voice their decision concerning whether or not to expand marijuana's legal use for other treatments.

This is an area of law where nothing is set in stone. If you or someone you know has been charged with a marijuana offense, then you need to work with a criminal lawyer who is on top of all the recent additions and pending changes in Florida law, and who can know how best to utilize these toward your defense. Talk to a criminal defense attorney in Tampa who can inform you of your full rights when you reach Thomas & Paulk, P.A. today!