Trafficking in Cannabis
Trafficking in cannabis is frequently defined as the purchase and sale of cannabis, or the manufacture, delivery or importation of cannabis across Florida into other states. It also could include transporting the substance from another nation into Florida, or throughout Florida.
Cannabis is defined as every part of the plant, whether growing or not, of the genus Cannabis. That includes all seed, resin and resin compounds from the plant, according to Florida Statutes § 893.02. Trafficking in cannabis can be both a federal and a Florida state offense, and a conviction for either can include both prison time and fines.
Tallahassee Marijuana Trafficking Defense Lawyer
Drug trafficking charges should be taken seriously. They often can result in lengthy jail sentences, expensive fines or both. If you have been charged with trafficking in cannabis in Leon County, it is important to hire an experienced attorney at Pumphrey Law who will help you achieve the best possible outcome of your case.
The attorneys at Pumphrey Law are knowledgeable about Florida cannabis trafficking laws and will attempt to find a defense or other circumstances to reduce your charges or have them dismissed. They are passionate about representing clients, and they will work to ensure you have a strong defense against the charges.
Pumphrey Law represents clients in Leon County and the surrounding areas of Florida's Second Judicial Circuit including Wakulla County, Gadsden County, Liberty County and Jefferson County, plus the cities of Crawfordville, Quincy, Bristol and Monticello. Call (850) 681-7777 to schedule a free case evaluation.
Information About Marijuana Trafficking
- Definitions of Cannabis Trafficking
- Proving Marijuana Trafficking in Florida
- Penalties for Trafficking in Cannabis in Florida
- Federal Rules and Penalties for Cannabis Trafficking
The term trafficking in terms of illegal substances generally means the drugs were transported from one location to another. For instance, if marijuana was taken across a state border, it could be considered trafficking. However, Florida law also states a certain amount of marijuana must be involved to constitute as trafficking.
The standard amount of marijuana in Florida that indicates trafficking is 25 pounds or more, or 300 plants or more. Thus, you can be charged with a marijuana trafficking offense for knowingly selling, manufacturing or cultivating, delivering, or bringing into the state an amount of marijuana exceeding this standard.
If a Florida resident is simply in possession of 25 pounds or 300 plants of cannabis, even if possession of the substance is only intended for personal use, he or she still could face state marijuana trafficking charges.
A pattern of jury instruction used by the state’s prosecution to convict someone of trafficking cannabis includes an affirmative answer beyond a reasonable doubt to all of the following elements:
- The person arrested for trafficking in cannabis knowingly possessed, sold, manufactured, delivered, purchased or brought into Florida a certain substance
- The substance is cannabis, also known as marijuana
- The quantity of cannabis was more than 25 pounds, or more than 300 cannabis plants
- The person knew the substance was cannabis
A conviction for marijuana trafficking in Florida is a felony of the first degree under Florida Statutes § 893.135. The length of a prison sentence and the amount of the fines can increase depending on the quantity trafficked, whether the alleged offender has prior convictions and whether serious bodily injury or death was involved with the offense.
A conviction for a felony in the first degree for trafficking in cannabis of 25 pounds or more than 300 plants can include up to 30 years in Florida prison, depending on the offense, and up to $10,000 in fines.
If the amount of cannabis ranges from 25 to 2,000 pounds, or more than 300 cannabis plants but less than 2,000, the alleged offender likely will face a mandatory prison sentence of at least three years and a fine of $25,000.
If the trafficking marijuana conviction is for more than 2,000 pounds, but less than 10,000 pounds, or 2,000 to 10,000 cannabis plants, the alleged offender likely will serve a mandatory prison sentence of seven years and a fine of $50,000.
The alleged offender will be sentenced to a mandatory prison term of at least 15 years and a fine of $200,000 if the amount of cannabis being trafficked is 10,000 pounds or more, or 10,000 marijuana plants or more.
It is a federal offense to manufacture, import, distribute or possess controlled substances, including cannabis, with the intent to sell the marijuana either across state borders, throughout the state or from a foreign country into Florida, according to the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. §§ 807 et seq.)
The federal Controlled Substances Act lists and classifies drugs as most serious with the greatest likelihood of abuse (Schedule I) to least serious with a small chance for abuse (Schedule V). Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug under the federal statute.
Penalties for trafficking in cannabis can depend on the amount of marijuana or marijuana plants being trafficked and if the alleged offender has any other prior convictions. A few examples of penalties include:
- If no prior convictions, less than five years to 10 years to life in federal prison
- If death or serious bodily injury results from the offense, or the alleged offender already has one prior conviction, less than 10 years to 20 years to life in federal prison
- Individual fines from $250,000 to $8,000,000
- Fines ranging from $1,000,000 to $20,000,000, if not an individual
Finding A Tallahassee Marijuana Trafficking Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with cannabis trafficking in Tallahassee, contact the attorneys at Pumphrey Law to discuss the facts of your particular case. An experienced marijuana lawyer in Tallahassee can help you challenge severe penalties and harsh punishments. Contact us at (850) 681-7777 for a consultation about your alleged marijuana trafficking charge.
Article last updated October 24, 2016.
Attorney Don Pumphrey Jr. is a former prosecutor, former law enforcement officer, and a successful and experienced criminal defense attorney.