Can You Legally Celebrate 4/20 in Florida?
Cannabis culture observes the dates April 20 as a countercultural holiday. This holiday revolves around celebrating with the consumption of cannabis. Most of the celebration is “officially” done in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, which is located near the Haight-Ashbury district. Another very popular site for cannabis culture followers is the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus. Cannabis culture originated from a group of teenagers in San Rafael, California in 1971. Their mission was to find cannabis plants that had been abandoned in the area. A plan was set out meeting acts a specific statue which was located on the property of San Rafael High School at approximately 4:20 PM. The teenagers never found the abandoned cannabis plants, even though they made many attempts. Ultimately their plan was shortened to being called simply 4/20. Eventually this evolved into a secret word that teenagers continue to use which referred to the acts of pot-smoking. Unfortunately, individuals that choose to observe this cannabis culture holiday fail to understand that trafficking, intent to sell, and use of marijuana in Orlando is illegal, even on 4/20.
The possession of marijuana (of 20 grams or less) is considered to be a misdemeanor which can lead to a $1000 fine as well as incarceration for one year. Possessing more than 20 grams of marijuana in this state is considered to be a felony, which carries a fine of $5000 as well as five years of incarceration. Even though penalties can be defended against by hiring a lawyer or attorney, the celebration of 4/20 is not considered to be a legal celebration because it violates the Florida marijuana laws, which some people think are as (or more) lax than California or Colorado.
It is more difficult to get defense for marijuana charges that are related to intent to sell for cannabis. Not only is the sale or delivery of cannabis illegal, but the location of the selling activity can also increase the resulting punishment. For example if a cannabis sale or delivery occurs within approximately 200 feet of a public park, public housing, or a college, the offender can face up to 15 years in prison as well as a fine of $10,000. The celebration of 4/20 can still get you in trouble even if an individual does not engage in the consumption and use of marijuana. The possession of paraphernalia is considered to be a misdemeanor. This is punishable by law for up to one year in jail as well as a fine of $1,000.
So tomorrow when you are listening to Bob Marley and Sublime and Hula Hooping outside of a hookah lounge, remember that law enforcement doesn’t observe 4/20 as a time to go easy on marijuana users. If you find yourself in any sort of trouble because of the activities you participate in during 4/20, call the drug offense attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm.