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.
A large number of people in Florida's jails and prisons are there for drug crimes. Many of them have been convicted of simple drug possession. A report details how extensive the prosecution of people for minor drug offenses is in the U.S. and points to the need for decriminalization.
Florida residents might be interested to learn that President Obama commuted the sentences of another 111 inmates who are in federal prison for nonviolent drug offenses. To date, Obama has commuted the sentences of 673 federal inmates, a higher number than the total who were commuted by the last 10 presidents combined.
A 31-year-old Florida woman was arrested on drug charges during a traffic stop in Citrus County on April 22. According to authorities, she was hiding marijuana, methamphetamine and Xanax in a body cavity.
Seven people in Florida were charged for various drug offenses on March 31 following an investigation that spanned eight months. According to the Lee County Sheriff's Office, the accused individuals were part of a large drug trafficking operation in Bonita Springs. One of the accused individuals, a 38-year-old man, is thought to be the leader of the alleged organization. Investigators say that he and a 36-year-old man acquired and distributed drugs but hired others to perform smaller transactions for them.
Many Florida residents have seen or read the multiple news reports regarding synthetic drugs. Some may even decide to try these drugs in the mistaken belief that they are safe and legal.
Florida viewers of the reality television show "Pawn Stars" might be wondering what Austin Russell, known as Chumlee on the show, will pawn to make his bail. The 33-year-old man has appeared on the show since it debuted on the History Channel in 2009. Fame, however, has not insulated him from the scrutiny of law enforcement. While investigating a sexual assault, Las Vegas police authorities obtained a search warrant for his home. During the search on March 9, police arrested Russell when they found weapons, marijuana and methamphetamine.
On Jan. 28, Florida law enforcement officers reported that 55 individuals were indicted after they were accused of being involved in trafficking drugs and weapons. During five separate busts, authorities reportedly seized multiple guns, grenades and ammunition that was capable of piercing bullet proof vests in addition about 500 grams of crack cocaine and several kilos of heroin.
A manager of a day care center was one of four people taken into custody in Florida for selling drugs at the center. The manager's son and daughter along with a family friend were also taken into custody.
Florida residents may be interested in a report from the Urban Institute that describes the breakdown of the 2012 federal prison population according to drug-related crime categories. The largest group were in prison for cocaine-related offenses. Between 1980 and 2012, the population in federal prisons grew by nearly 800 percent. Most of those prisoners were incarcerated for crimes related to the so-called "War on Drugs".