Florida has taken some incredible strides in recent years to improve its approach to marijuana. Not only did lawmakers approve a bill to regulate agricultural hemp in 2017, they also approved and expanded medical marijuana law last year. Instead of only allowing children with intractible epilepsy to access high-CBD marijuana, the law now permits people with other severe conditions, like PTSD, cancer and HIV/AIDS, to register to legally use medical marijuana.
Some people even hope that the law could soon change to include recreational adult use. However, for most people, the possession of marijuana still remains a serious offense. Even natural-state marijuana in small amounts can result in misdemeanor charges and fines. For those who prefer marijuana concentrates or extracts, the potential penalties are much higher.
Dabs are popular but risky for people in Florida
People who vaporize marijuana concentrates call that processing dabbing, and each dose of extract is individually called a dab. Modern marijuana users like dabs for a number of reasons. They often have less tell-tale smell than natural state marijuana, making it easier to conceal and transport.
Dabs and other marijuana extracts are also much more potent than smoked marijuana. That is because these concentrates include primarily the active compounds, called cannabinoids, without the bulky plant carrier material. This can make taking a higher dose to control pain or seizures easier. It also makes dabs appear more frightening to law enforcement and the courts.
Florida treats non-medical extracts as a felony
You may think that there's little risk involved with dabs, but you'd be wrong. If you get caught in possession of any amount of marijuana extracts, even the residue of old dabs on a pipe, you could find yourself facing serious felony charges.
Under Florida law, possession of any amount of any kind of marijuana extract is a felony offense. Even pressed hashish carries a felony charge. If you plead guilty or get convicted of possession, the potential penalties include up to five years in jail and a fine of as much as $5,000. The same penalties apply to the sale, delivery or manufacture of marijuana extracts.
You could also face additional charges for paraphernalia. Unlike natural state marijuana, which users can roll into joints to smoke, dabs usually require a pipe, as well as a special torch. You could find yourself facing a second misdemeanor charge related to the possession of marijuana paraphernalia. A criminal charge for possession of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor that carries up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Anyone facing criminal charges related to dabs or other marijuana extracts should take the charges seriously, Despite changing personal attitudes about marijuana, the state of Florida still prosecutes people to the full extent of state law for this increasingly popular plant.