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States including Florida pass marijuana legislation on Election Day

With the new election results, many changes are coming nationwide. Not only is the country getting a new president, but several states passed legislation to allow the recreational usage of marijuana, and several approved or loosened restrictions on medical marijuana, including Florida. It's a move that's a boon for pro-marijuana legalization groups and for those who support decriminalization of marijuana usage and possession.

Eight states address the issue

On November 8, states including California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada all approved their marijuana legalization measures, although Arizona wasn't able to pass theirs. Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas also were able to approve medical marijuana initiatives, and Montana voted to loosen some restrictions on an existing medical marijuana law.

California is an important development, as the state holds 12 percent of the U.S. population, and its economy ranks sixth in the world - larger than France. California is first in population and economy, and Florida holds the fourth spot in both categories. Although Florida does currently have

Marijuana laws in Florida

Florida became the 26th state to approve of medical marijuana use with the passage of Amendment 2 on Nov. 8. People who are seriously ill in the state can now access medical marijuana in their preferred form. The Department of Health will now be required to regulate centers for medical marijuana treatment, dispensing marijuana to patients who have been prescribed cannabis by a doctor.

However, not all of Florida has decriminalized the recreational use of marijuana. Although counties including Miami-Dade and cities including Tampa, Key West and Orlando have decriminalized possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana, the rest of the state does not allow recreational usage and possession. Some police departments across the state have stated that they will continue to arrest those in possession of marijuana.

What to do if you're in trouble

Although marijuana laws are loosening all over the country, there are still punishments for people in Florida, especially young people. Fines and jail time can be handed to those in possession of marijuana, and convictions can result in a driver's license suspension and a mark on their record that can follow them forever.

If you've been the subject of an illegal search and seizure or another situation where you were charged with possession of marijuana or paraphernalia, driving under the influence, trafficking or any other marijuana-related offense, you should immediately get help from an attorney and fight against your charges. Even if you do get convicted, working with a lawyer can help you expunge the conviction from your record.

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