On Monday, a South Florida man was acquitted by a Broward County jury after claiming that the dozens of marijuana plants he had been growing were used “for his own medical purposes.”
Our Palm Beach and Broward County marijuana crime defense lawyers know that the legal issue of marijuana possession and production is a controversial one in the State of Florida, especially in a year during which the state legislature plans to debate how to handle medical marijuana.
The case, and more particularly its outcome, was a first for the Sunshine State, and it contributes to the increasingly lenient attitudes toward marijuana expressed by our state’s residents.
Indeed, a 50-year-old Hollywood, FL, man was found not guilty of the criminal charges he faced. During the trial, the man testified that the nearly 50 marijuana plants that were seized by law enforcement officers two years ago were not, in fact, intended for distribution, but rather for his own use. The marijuana plants, as our Palm Beach and Broward County marijuana crime defense lawyers understand, were used to fight chronic symptoms related to anorexia, the eating disorder with which the defendant struggled. His medical condition both suppresses his appetite and makes him nauseous.
Still, upon discovering the marijuana plants, Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested him for cultivating and possessing marijuana plants. If the members of the jury did not believe the defendant and his attorney, and had they gone on to convict him of the charges he faced, he could have been sentenced to five (5) years in prison (in addition to having to pay considerable fines and court fees).
Fortunately, as our Palm Beach and Broward County marijuana crime defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert know, the members of the jury decided that this case was about compassion. While prosecutors questioned why a single person needed 46 marijuana plants for personal medical purposes, one member of the jury expressed pleasure that he and his colleagues were able to acquit the defendant on all charges. According to one juror, “the evidence showed he was using cannabis to help . . . manage a serious and painful medical condition which he has endured for years.”
According to NBC Miami, this defendant is the first person in the State of Florida to have had a jury of his peers decide whether he is guilty or not of using marijuana as a medicine. After deliberating for only about 30 minutes, the jury returned a verdict that affirmed the rights of hundreds of thousands of people who use marijuana as an alternative medicine.
If you have any questions about medical marijuana or any other criminal defense issue, or if you have been arrested for or charged with a crime in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County, please contact our marijuana crime defense lawyers at Leifert & Leifert by calling 1-888-5-DEFEND (1-888-533-3363) to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to assisting you.