(WTXL) — The state attorney's office will no longer be charging people with possession of marijuana without an explicit confession or the development of a new test that distinguishes between cannabis and hemp.
State Attorney Jack Campbell is halting prosecution of marijuana cases without a confession or the development of a new test that distinguishes between cannabis and hemp.
Campbell sent a letter to "law enforcement partners" notifying them of the change. In the letter, he cites Florida’s new law legalizing hemp.
Because there is no test available to differentiate between marijuana and hemp, Campbell wrote that his office will be making “significant” changes, like no longer authorizing search warrants based on "presumptive tests," officers smelling marijuana, or dogs alerting to it.
"Some municipal labs in larger jurisdictions are also trying to invest in technology that will either allow full or partial quantification," Campbell wrote. "If FDLE does so, or your agency is willing to have the samples privately tested, we will consider filing these cases."
Campbell is calling on the legislature, Florida Department of Agriculture and FDLE to address the issues brought on by the state's hemp law. He says his office will be lobbying the legislature to fund presumptive testing, final analytical testing, and regulation of possession by minors.
The Tallahassee Police Department said in a statement they want to remind citizens that while hemp is legal, marijuana is still illegal in Florida.
TPD also stated they will continue investigating suspected marijuana cases and in the event that probable cause is established, they will seize the evidence for potential prosecution.