Beginning Tuesday, July 1, 2008, it takes a lot less pot to be considered a “grow house”. In Florida, if a house has 25 or more marijuana plants in it, it will be considered a “grow house”. That means that someone arrested for this crime could get up to 15 years in prison for simply having the plants in the house. Before Tuesday, a “grow house” house had to have 300 plants. The new law also allows the police in Florida to dispose of all the equipment from the house instead of keeping it for a possible trial if they took pictures and video.
There are also several other marijuana crimes in the State of Florida. Simple possession of less than 20 grams of pot is a first degree misdemeanor punishable for up to one year in jail. If a person possesses more than 20 grams of marijuana, that is a third degree felony punishable for up to 5 years in prison. If someone possesses 25 pounds of marijuana or 300 or more cannabis plants, that is considered trafficking in marijuana and the arrested person is facing up to 30 years in prison.
In Florida, trafficking in marijuana charges also have minimum mandatory sentences depending on the amount of pot. If you possess more than 25 pounds, but less than 2,000 pounds, or 300 to 2,000 plants, the mandatory minimum punishment is 3 years in prison and a $25,000.00 fine. If you possess between 2,000 and 10,000 pounds of marijuana or between 2,000 and 10,000 pot plants, there is a 7 year minimum prison term and a $50,000.00 fine. If you possess 10,000 pounds or more or have more than 10,000 pot plants, the minimum is 15 years in prison and a $200,000.00 fine.
A marijuana “plant” in the State of Florida includes a seedling or cutting. It has to have some readily observable evidence of root formation, such as root hairs, for it to be considered a “plant”.
If you have any questions about criminal marijuana drug charges, please contact our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorneys at (904) 634-0900.