Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who loudly opposed a medical marijuana measure that appeared on the 2014 ballot, is staying on the sidelines this time around.

Lawmakers Seek To Legalize Industrial Hemp

Oct 20, 2015

Two Democratic lawmakers have breathed new life into an effort to legalize hemp as an agricultural crop in Florida. Proponents of the program are pitching it as an economic boost to Florida.


Palm Beach County is one vote closer to handing out fines for carrying small amounts of marijuana and marijuana accessories.

The county approved a preliminary reading of a law that would let police officers issue civil citations carrying a $100 fine—instead of criminal charges—for possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana.

If it passes, the civil citation option would be available in unincorporated Palm Beach County. Municipalities within the county would still have to opt in. West Palm Beach has already passed a rule allowing for the civil citations.

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The city of Key West is joining the ranks of South Florida municipalities where possession of small amounts of marijuana is treated as a civil code violation, not a criminal act.

On Tuesday, the city commission unanimously approved an ordinance that would allow police officers discretion to cite people with less than 20 grams of marijuana, rather than charge them with a misdemeanor. The citation would carry a $100 fine.

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The Monroe Board of County Commissioners Wednesday told the county attorney to move forward with an ordinance that would allow police officers to give a civil citation, instead of a misdemeanor criminal charge, to people caught with small amounts of marijuana.

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Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys, could soon follow Miami-Dade's lead in allowing civil citations for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The measure would allow police officers discretion on whether to arrest someone on a misdemeanor charge or give them a civil citation, which can result in a fine. The Miami-Dade ordinance, which was approved last month, applies to possession of 20 grams of pot or less.

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The Miami-Dade County commission voted Tuesday to allow civil penalties for certain misdemeanors, including possession of drug paraphernalia and up to 20 grams of marijuana.

Doug Hanks of the Miami Herald reports: 

Miami-Dade commissioners voted Tuesday to let police treat marijuana possession the same way they do littering and loitering — issuing a civil citation with a $100 fine that keeps the offense out of the criminal system.


A 23-year-old Miami man faces three felony counts and a misdemeanor charge after Monroe County Sheriff's Office detectives say he offered to sell "medicinal high grade top shelf" marijuana on Craigslist.

Keys detectives saw the listing on the online classifieds website. The post also included "a picture of a green leafy substance that appeared to be cannabis," according to Deputy Becky Herrin, spokeswoman for the Monroe Sheriff's Office.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:


A product made from cannabis could become one of Florida’s top crops: A bill in Tallahassee would allow Florida farmers to grow hemp.

Robert Clayton finished construction last year on a house made of hemp in Tarpon Springs. It’s thought to be the first of its kind in Florida. He testified at a Senate hearing about his research for the Hemp Industries Association.