Clearing confusion over marijuana use – Florida Courier

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Editor’s note: This commentary is provided by the Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative (MMERI) of Florida A&M University.

SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER

Marijuana laws are changing across the country as states adopt legalization and decriminalization initiatives, many backed by voters.

Today, 36 states, including Florida, the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories regulate medical marijuana as a legally prescribed drug, while 15 states now allow adult-use marijuana.

But while there’s a growing movement within Florida and other states to relax marijuana laws, the federal government still treats it — irrespective of medicinal or recreational use — as an illegal substance.

This dichotomy can cause confusion and potentially lead to problems involving employment, housing and encounters with law enforcement, among other issues.

Avoiding conflicts

A medical marijuana patient in Florida could still run afoul of federal laws in certain circumstances, such as possessing or administering the drug while employed by the federal government, on federal property or federally funded institutions, or traveling on a federally regulated transportation system.

Tampa-based criminal defense attorney Patricia Dawson offers a deeper explanation:

“You can’t use [medical marijuana] on public transportation and public parks. You can’t…

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Editor’s note: This commentary is provided by the Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative (MMERI) of Florida A&M University.

SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER

Marijuana laws are changing across the country as states adopt legalization and decriminalization initiatives, many backed by voters.

Today, 36 states, including Florida, the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories regulate medical marijuana as a legally prescribed drug, while 15 states now allow adult-use marijuana.

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But while there’s a growing movement within Florida and other states to relax marijuana laws, the federal government still treats it — irrespective of medicinal or recreational use — as an illegal substance.

This dichotomy can cause confusion and potentially lead to problems involving employment, housing and encounters with law enforcement, among other issues.

Avoiding conflicts

A medical marijuana patient in Florida could still run afoul of federal laws in certain circumstances, such as possessing or administering the drug while employed by the federal government, on federal property or federally funded institutions, or traveling on a federally regulated transportation system.

Tampa-based criminal defense attorney Patricia Dawson offers a deeper explanation:

“You can’t use [medical marijuana] on public transportation and public parks. You can’t…

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