Driving with marijuana in Florida

Top 5 reasons to get a medical marijuana card in Florida

Medical marijuana cards are available in Florida. But many marijuana users are taking the attitude of “I’ve been buying marijuana for years without a medical marijuana card, why should I pony up the money to get one now?” The fact of the matter is that there really are actually some very good reasons to get the card. Let’s go over them together.

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1. The penalties for possession without a medical marijuana card can be devastating

The most important reason to get a medical marijuana card in Florida is, to put it bluntly, to prevent the ruination of your life. 

Marijuana is still illegal in Florida if you’re not a card-carrying medical marijuana patient. And the penalties if you get caught are harsh. 

If you’re unlucky enough to get a bad lawyer, go to trial, and get a staunch judge, you could very well be looking at spending some time in prison and/or paying some hefty finage. 

If you’re charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and convicted, you’re now a felon. You could be looking at up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. On top of that, you’ll be laying out some serious cash to cover legal fees. A good lawyer can end up costing more than the fine. 

As a side note, if you’re caught within 1,000 feet of a school, you could be looking at up to 15 years in prison plus a maximum fine of up to $10,000. Furthermore, if you get caught a second time the penalties are even worse. 

Also, if you’re caught with cannabis while driving you are very likely going to lose your driver’s license.

Even if you beat the charges altogether, just being arrested puts a bad stain on your record as a good citizen. If you get arrested again you’re at even more risk of getting locked up.

Maybe you don’t want to buy your marijuana at a state-licensed dispensary. Maybe you would rather continue buying from your local dealer. So be it. But having the card could save you from the above-mentioned ruination. 

That being said, there are many good reasons to buy your cannabis at a dispensary rather than on the street. Let’s talk about that…

2. Florida medical marijuana dispensaries provide a variety of products

Typically, buying marijuana from a street dealer offers very little choice. In most cases, you just have to take what they’ve got on hand at that moment. Can you even be sure they really know what strains they have, or how much THC and CBD, and which terpenes they have in them? They could tell you anything and you’d have no choice but to believe them. 

You might be looking for a strain that works well with an active lifestyle but end up with one that locks you to your couch. Or you might be looking for something to help you relax at the end of the day and end up with a strain that makes you anxious and paranoid.

Medical marijuana dispensaries typically carry a wide array of cannabis strains. And it’s likely that they actually are what they say they are. 

They also generally carry a bigger menu of products including not only smokable flower but also concentrates, edibles, vape oils, capsules, tinctures, etc.

If you’ve taken the little bit of time and money required to get a Florida medical marijuana card, you’ll have a lot more choice and are much more likely to find products that fit well with your lifestyle and produce the desired effects.

3. Buying at a dispensary gets you expert advice

Another benefit of buying marijuana at dispensaries is that it comes with expert advice. Even if your local dealer knows which strains they have, much of the time they won’t be able to tell you what the actual effects are.

Dispensaries have experts known as “budtenders” that are educated on the pros and cons of the various delivery methods, what effects you can expect, how much THC and CBD are in the product, and so forth.

4. Buying at a dispensary greatly reduces health risks

Under Florida medical marijuana laws, all products must be grown organically without the use of chemical pesticides. And they must be tested for all types of impurities, toxins, heavy metals, molds, and other nasty stuff. 

The same cannot be said for all black market marijuana. Black market growers have zero incentive to assure that their products are not harmful to your health. Sure some of them care, but not all of them. There’s simply no way for you to know if your dealer’s stash includes harmful chemicals. 

A great example of why this is important is the recent rash of black market vape cartridges that contained chemical additives which caused serious lung injuries and even caused death in some cases.

5. Black market marijuana is bad for the world

Finally, there are a lot of reasons outside of the selfish ones to get a Florida medical marijuana card and buy your meds at your local dispensary.

For example, while black market sales oftentimes put money in the pockets of unscrupulous types, legal weed actually puts that money back into the state’s economy.

Furthermore, as we mentioned, licensed producers have to grow under strict conditions whereas illicit growers can do anything they like. As a result, a lot of illegal cannabis operations are causing long-term damage to the environment. 

Some of the pesticides and herbicides being used at illegal grows are so toxic that just one teaspoon can kill a grown bear. And these chemicals leach into local groundwater and rivers doing serious harm to the ecosystem.

So, get your Florida medical marijuana card and buy your cannabis at a legal dispensary

You may not have known some of these details before you read this post. Well, now you know, and you ignore the facts at your own peril and to the detriment of society. 

The fact of the matter, frankly, is that it’s not super difficult to get a medical marijuana card in Florida. State laws now say that it’s the doctor who decides if your health can benefit from the use of medical marijuana, so the list of qualifying conditions is wide open. 

Many marijuana doctors today are sympathetic to the cause. They are firm believers that when used properly marijuana is not only safe but good for you, too.

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