The state of Florida passing a bill legalizing the recreational use of marijuana is fake news. There is no truth to a report that marijuana is now legal in Florida thanks to new legislation allowing the use of the weed by smokers. Unfortunately, for Florida weed smokers, they should not publicly light up.
Where did this fake news originate? Abcnews-us.com published the fake news article on March 17, 2018, reporting that Florida’s state legislature had agreed to a new bill that would permit weed smokers to enjoy the recreational use of d an article on March 17th 2018 titled “Florida passes bill legalizing recreational use of marijuana” (archived here) which opened:
Orlando, Fl. – Weed smokers rejoice, The state of Florida can now be added to the growing list of US states that have past bills to legalize the use marijuana.
The bill to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use in the state was first presented at the state capital back in July is expected to be in place by Easter. Lawmakers have finally given the go-ahead citing it will jump-start the economy and create new jobs.
“This bill is so much more than legalizing marijuana–it’s about legalizing opportunity and prosperity,” said Democratic leader Janet Cruz. “The state budget was due two weeks ago, and Florida simply can’t afford to wait any longer. We deserve a real plan to create new jobs and stimulate our lagging economy, and that’s what this bill is.”
However, there is no truth to the above story. What is the problem with the story to make it false? For one thing, Abcnews-us.com is not the real site for ABCNews, which is abcnews.go.com. Additionally, there is no legitimate news coverage of such a bill having been passed by the state’s legislature.
Organizers of the two primary efforts to get the marijuana issue on the state’s ballot were not able to collect the required 766,000 petition signatures. Now they hope 2020 will be their year.
As of right now, Florida voters were backing a bill to permit the use of marijuana as medical cannabis activists are suing the state of Florida to get a ban on smokable cannabis overturned. People United for Medical Marijuana filed the suit in July 2017. Hightimes reported the following:
“Florida voters legalized medical marijuana by a 71 percent majority in 2016. Subsequently, the state legislature outlawed smokeable forms of cannabis in 2017. Patients would have to rely on vaping, topicals, tinctures, edibles and other non-combustible forms of cannabis. Legislators cited the health risks of smoking as the reason for the ban.”
Nonetheless, people, who obviously support legalization, confused the fake news as real and shared it on social media.
In Florida the current law states that possession of small amounts is illegal. The Marijuana Policy Project says possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of one year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000.
For those who carry more than 20 grams of marijuana, it is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000.