Miami Weed Laws

Miami cannabis laws cover a wide range of topics. Possession of marijuana, in general, remains illegal in Miami and throughout Florida. However, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office has a policy of non-enforcement for minor amounts of cannabis. Medical marijuana is allowed in Miami and throughout Florida. Residents and visitors alike need to be aware of some unique cannabis laws that apply in Miami. The legal team at Bernstein & Maryanoff discusses Miami cannabis laws.

Smoking Marijuana In Miami

Miami Weed Laws

Here are Miami’s cannabis laws at a glance:

  • Medical marijuana is allowed in Miami.
  • Cannabis is illegal in Miami and throughout Florida. However, it’s the policy of the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office to decline prosecution of possession of small amounts of marijuana.
  • It’s illegal to smoke marijuana on the beach in Miami.
  • It’s illegal to smoke marijuana in a public park in Miami.
  • Possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana is a felony.

Can You Smoke Marijuana on the Beach in Miami?

No, you can’t smoke marijuana on the beach in Miami. The City of Miami Beach prohibits smoking marijuana in a public place.[1] That includes on the beach in Miami. Smoking marijuana on the beach in Miami is a misdemeanor. The penalties can include up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. It’s against the law to smoke marijuana on the beach in Miami.

If You Have a Medical Card, Where Can You Smoke in Miami?

If you have a medical card, you can smoke in a private location in Miami. The City of Miami Beach has banned smoking marijuana in all public places. Although a medical card gives you the legal right to smoke marijuana, you still can’t smoke in a public place. The prohibition includes beaches, public parks, and sidewalks. If you have a medical card, you can smoke marijuana in a private place in Miami, where the property owner allows it.

Miami Law Smoking Marijuana in a Public Place

The City of Miami Beach passed a law that prohibits smoking marijuana in public.[2] The law passed in 2019. The law is unique to Miami Beach; that means that other Florida cities may have different laws about smoking marijuana in public. For Miami Beach residents and visitors who smoke marijuana in public, the possible penalties include up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. Hemp is included in the ban in addition to marijuana and other forms of cannabis.

Florida Legalization 2019

Although there is a significant movement in Florida towards cannabis legalization, marijuana remains illegal as of December 2019. Residents may vote on Florida legalization of recreational marijuana as early as 2020. However, Florida currently prohibits the recreational use of marijuana.

Until the law changes, the recreational use of marijuana is illegal throughout the State of Florida. That includes Miami as well as in the entire State of Florida. Even though Miami lawmakers are receptive to recreational use of marijuana, state law preempts city laws. As long as the law remains at the state level, people in Miami can be charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.

Medical Marijuana Laws Miami

Medical cannabis laws in Miami allow for the use of medical marijuana. Miami is part of the statewide medical marijuana program. Passed in 2017, Florida’s medical marijuana program allows for possession and use of marijuana for individuals with certain qualifying medical conditions. The law applies to Miami. That means that if you have a qualifying condition and formal approval to use medical marijuana under Florida law, you can use medical cannabis in Miami.

It’s important to keep in mind that the qualifying medical conditions for medical marijuana in Florida are quite restrictive. Conditions like HIV, multiple sclerosis, and cancer qualify for medical marijuana use. Even if you have a qualifying condition, you must still go through the steps to get official approval before use.

Florida Cannabis Laws Apply in Miami

In addition to the legal requirements for medical marijuana use, state laws about possession of cannabis continue to apply in Miami. There are two important things to be aware of when it comes to Miami cannabis possession. The first thing to know is that possession of marijuana is illegal in Miami. The second thing to know is that the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office has a policy against prosecuting possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office has made the decision not to prosecute small amounts of marijuana possession. A person who has even a small amount of marijuana in Miami is in violation of the law. However, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office has the discretion to decline prosecution. They’ve decided to decline prosecution for small amounts of marijuana as a matter of policy. Essentially, that makes recreational use of marijuana allowed in Miami, even though it’s illegal.

The reason for the Miami-Dade policy is the time and resources associated with prosecuting marijuana offenses. In most cases, law enforcement has to conduct testing of substances believed to be marijuana. There’s a cost associated with that testing. Policymakers simply decided that it’s not worth the time and costs for law enforcement to pursue small amounts of marijuana possession. They believe that their law enforcement energies are put to better use in other ways. However, if you choose to possess marijuana in Miami, remember that the State Attorney’s Office can make exceptions as they see fit. In addition, possession of large quantities of marijuana remains a felony, and the state’s attorney still aggressively pursues felony cases.

Penalties for Cannabis Possession in Miami

Penalties for cannabis possession in Miami come from both state and local law. Under state law, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense. Possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana is a felony offense. Hash and THC concentrate both count as marijuana under the law. In addition to jail time and fines, you may receive a suspension of your driver’s license for up to one year.

Sources

[1] Smoking on Public Beaches and in Public Parks, S. 670, 116th Cong. (2019).

[2] Lipscomb, J. 22 October 2019. Miami Beach Officially Bans Public Smoking of Marijuana and Hemp. Miami New Times. Retrieved 20 November 2019 from https://www.miaminewtimes.com/marijuana/miami-beach-makes-it-illegal-to-smoke-marijuana-cannabis-or-hemp-in-public-11295666

About the Author

Jack G. Bernstein, ESQ.

Jack Bernstein is a hard working and highly motivated personal injury attorney in Miami, Florida with over three decades of experience. He is a strategist and idea person, with a genuine passion for helping his firm’s clients. If you've been injured, contact Jack Bernstein today for a free evaluation of your case.

The information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.