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When it comes to FL Drug Laws, size matters.

Anyone who's ever said size doesn't matter has never been charged with Trafficking.

drugdeal In Florida, if you are caught with a certain weight of a controlled substance, a "trafficking amount," the Florida lawmakers have decided that you will serve a set minimum number of years in prison. It doesn't matter if it's your first time and it doesn't take much. The easiest way to catch a trafficking charge is when it comes to pills. Multiple pills get weighed together. Add them up and it adds up to years of your life. Take a refill, or even less, of someone else's Rx, for example. Get busted with those pills in your possession, and not for one of the safe reasons (i.e. picking up pain medication from the pharmacy after a loved one has had surgery), you have a weighty amount of drugs on your hands and you're giving up years of your life.

Here's what you need to know about Florida and its Drug Laws.

A crystal by any other name may not weigh the same... aka: what is a gram?

Let's start with the basics, especially since weight makes the biggest difference. Go back in the day to science class, that day where you measured different objects to learn how items of similar size can vary in mass. Let's take a look at some basic household items to see how they measure up: saltsugarfatA gram of salt takes up about 1/6 tsp, making it the heaviest ingredient. Salt is composed of chloride as well, with only 40% of its weight accounting for pure sodium. Doing some math there gives us about a 1/2 tsp of salt to amount to 1 gram of sodium. 1/4 tsp of lard by volume weighs 1 gram. A gram of sugar weighs in just a tad shy of 1/4 tsp by volume. Sugar packets you find at restaurants typically weigh 2 to 4g. (A Splenda packet is only 1g.) So, what does that have to do with drugs? In short, different items... pot, cocaine, pills, or other drugs may appear to take up the same amount of room, but they will not weigh the same. (And apparently drug weighing "apps" may not be the most reliable method of staying away from a trafficking amount.)

The Misdemeanor vs. The Felony

In Florida, there is only one drug that can be charged as a Misdemeanor offense. That drug is Cannabis (Marijuana) and if you're caught with less than 20g you face up to 1 year in jail, 1 year of probation, and a $1,000 fine for a First Degree Misdemeanor. For all other drugs, the penalties are more severe and depending on amount, can range anywhere from a 3rd Degree Felony (5 years of prison, 5 years of probation, and a $5,000 fine), to Life in Prison (reserved for some pretty significant drug amounts).

How much are those drugs really going to cost you?

Felony Drugs include: Marijuana >20g, Cocaine, Ecstasy, Molly, Heroin, Meth, Oxy, PCP, Angel Dust, Quaaludes, LSD, essentially all the things you think might be a Felony - including Prescription Drugs that don't belong to you. To outline some (but not all) specific drugs and their penalties, including the minimum mandatory* amounts, see below:
  1. Amphetamine and Methamphetamine (Crystal Meth)
    • < 14g = 5 years in jail, 5 years of probation, and a $5,000 fine
    • 14g to 28g = 3 year minimum mandatory sentence
    • 28g to 200g = 7 year minimum mandatory sentence
    • 200+g = 15 year minimum mandatory sentence
  2. Cannabis (Marijuana - including seeds and stems)smoking
    • < 20g = 1 year in jail, 1 year of probation, and a $1,000 fine
    • > 20g but less than 25 pounds = 5 years in jail, 5 years of probation, and a $5,000 fine
    • 25+ pounds but less than 2,000 pounds (or 300 or more plants) = 3 year minimum mandatory sentence
    • 2,000+ pounds but less than 10,000 pounds (or 2,000 or more plants) = 7 year minimum mandatory sentence
    • 10,000+ pounds = 15 year minimum mandatory sentence
  3. Cocaine (including Crack Cocaine)
    • < 28g = 5 years in jail, 5 years of probation, and a $5,000 fine
    • 28g to 200g = 3 year minimum mandatory sentence
    • 200g to 400g = 7 year minimum mandatory sentence
    • 400g to 150kg = 15 year minimum mandatory sentence
    • 150+kg = life sentence
  4. Flunitrazepam (Date Rape Drug)
    • < 4g = 5 years in jail, 5 years of probation, and a $5,000 fine
    • 4g to 14g = 3 year minimum mandatory sentence
    • 14g to 28g = 7 year minimum mandatory sentence
    • 28g to 30kg = 25 year minimum mandatory sentence
    • 30+kg = life sentence
  5. GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid), GBL (gamma-butyrolactone) and 1,4-Butanediol
    • < 5kg = 5 years in jail, 5 years of probation, and a $5,000 fine
    • 5kg to 5kg = 3 year minimum mandatory sentence
    • 5kg to 10kg = 7 year minimum mandatory sentence
    • 10+kg = 15 year minimum mandatory sentence
  6. LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide)
    • < 1g = 5 years in jail, 5 years of probation, and a $5,000 fine
    • 1g to 5g = 3 year minimum mandatory sentence
    • 5g to 7g = 7 year minimum mandatory sentencemolly
    • 7+g = 15 year minimum mandatory sentence
  7. MDMA, Ecstacy, Molly<10g 5 years in jail, of probation, and a $5,000 fine
    • =
    • 10 to 199 grams of MDMA = 3 years prison and a $50,000 fine
    • 200 to 399 grams of MDMA = 7 years prison and a $100,000 fine
    • 400 grams to 29 kilograms of MDMA = 15 years prison and a $500,000 fine
      • Methaqualone (Quaaludes)
        • < 200g = 5 years in jail, 5 years of probation, and a $5,000 fine
        • 200g to 5kg = 3 year minimum mandatory sentence
        • 5kg to 25kg = 7 year minimum mandatory sentence
        • 25+kg = 15 year minimum mandatory sentence
      • Oxycodone (Oxycontin), Hydrocodone, Morphine, Opium and Hydromorphone
        • < 4g (as little as ONE pill) = 5 years in jail, 5 years of probation, and a $5,000 fine
        • 4g to 14g = 3 year minimum mandatory sentence
        • 14g to 28g = 15 year minimum mandatory sentence
        • 28g to 30kg = 25 year minimum mandatory sentence
        • 30+kg = life sentence
      • Phencyclidine (PCP or Angel Dust)
        • 28g to 200g = 3 year minimum mandatory sentence
        • 200g to 400g = 7 year minimum mandatory sentence
        • 400+g = 15 year minimum mandatory sentence

      The Hidden Toll of Drug Possession

      Sure, you may have seen the photos, the damage that drugs take on the body after years of use, but what you may not know is that you can also lose your driving privileges. In Florida, if you are convicted of a drug possession, your Driving Privilege will be suspended for one year. . . and if you're caught driving while on a drug possession suspension, expect to do jail time.

      The Bottom Line

      The Laws are clear and finite. Don't possess any controlled substances. Know the risks and consequences. Make an educated decision. And at the end of the day, there are two things you should always remember:

      #1 Never on your person.

      #2 Never in your car.

      Size matters when it comes to drug possession in Florida. If you've been busted for drug possession, or have questions about your drug case, call Colbert Law at (407) 705-3220.