Companion Bills to Decriminalize Marijuana Filed in Florida’s House and Senate

Legislation that would decriminalize marijuana possession has been filed in the Florida Legislature.

House Bill 1403 was filed by State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith (D), and the identical Senate Bill 1662 was filed by Senator Jeff Clemens (D). Under the proposed legislation, those caught possessing up to an ounce of cannabis will be charged with a maximum of an $100 fine, payable by 15 hours community service. There would be no arrest or criminal charge.

Under current law possessing even 0.1 of a gram is punishable by a misdemeanor and up to a year in jail.

“These draconian marijuana possession laws have wasted taxpayer dollars, unnecessarily filled up our state prison system, and distracted law enforcement from focusing on apprehending dangerous criminals,” Representative Smith said in a press release. “We should be creating opportunities for people to succeed – not creating obstacles and ruining lives over minor infractions or youthful indiscretions. It is past time for the legislature to end the unjust incarceration of Floridians for non-violent drug offenses.”

Read moreCompanion Bills to Decriminalize Marijuana Filed in Florida’s House and Senate

Florida: Second Senate Committee Votes Unanimously to Legalize Industrial Hemp

Florida’s Senate Criminal Justice Committee has approved Senate Bill 902, a proposal to legalize hemp, with a unanimoushemptennessee 5 to 0 vote. The measure was approved last week, also unanimously, by the Senate Agriculture Committee.

If passed into law, the proposal – titled the Hemp Industry Development Act and filed by Senator Jeff Clemens – would allow those wanting to cultivate hemp to become legally licensed with the state to do so. The Agriculture Department would be the entity tasked with handling licenses and regulations.

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Florida Senate Agriculture Committee Unanimously Approves Bill to Legalize Hemp

Florida’s Senate floridaAgriculture Committee has voted unanimously to approve Senate Bill 902, a proposal to explicitly legalize the production and cultivation of hemp.

Senator Jeff Clemens, the bill’s primary sponsor, says his bill would create numerous jobs and would be a boon to the state’s economy.

If passed into law, the proposal – titled the Hemp Industry Development Act – would direct the state’s Agriculture Department to distribute licenses to those wanting to cultivate hemp, and to regulate the plant to assure that crops don’t have a THC percentage above 0.3%.

Read moreFlorida Senate Agriculture Committee Unanimously Approves Bill to Legalize Hemp