Miami Police to No Longer Make Misdemeanor Cannabis Arrests

Miami Police to No Longer Make Misdemeanor Cannabis Arrests

MIami-Dade State Attorney’s Office announces in a memo sent earlier last week that it will no longer be prosecuting misdemeanor cannabis possession cases. 

The memo cites the “Hemp Bill”, or Senate Bill 1020, as making cannabis arrests problematic.  The “Hemp Bill” legalizes the farming, possession, and sale of Hemp in the state of Florida. Phytocannabinoid Rich Hemp Flower, which is sold for its high content of the cannabinoid CBD, looks, smells, and smokes much like illegal (high THC) cannabis flower. 

“Because hemp and cannabis both come from the same plant, they look, smell, and feel the same. There is no way to visually or microscopically distinguish one from the other,” the memo reads. “Similarly, since hemp can be – and is – also smoked, there is no olfactory way to distinguish hemp from marijuana.”

Because of their similarities, in order to prosecute someone for the possession of cannabis, the state needs an expert to conduct a laboratory test to make sure that the dried flower in question is indeed cannabis. The state just doesn’t have the resources to do so for every case. Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office does claim that it will be “baring exceptional circumstances” on particular cases. Meaning the state is willing to spend the money if there is a chance for a felony conviction or if you are caught doing something else wrong. 

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