There is a wide range of drug crimes in Fort Lauderdale. It is a large, diverse metropolitan area with lots of traffic through tourism and business. Generally, Fort Lauderdale sees charges of possession of powdered cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamines, marijuana, cannabis, heroin, hydrocodone, OxyContin, and Xanax. These are the common drug cases that face strict enforcement in Fort Lauderdale.
It is important to discuss the facts of your case with a skilled drug attorney who has an understanding of how local laws work and how they may affect your future. Legal enforcement of Ft. Lauderdale drug offenses is constantly being updated and reviewed. It can be beneficial for your future to speak with a Ft. Lauderdale lawyer who is up to date with local changes.
Local Laws and Practices
About a year ago, the Broward County Commission gave municipalities and cities within Broward County and specifically Fort Lauderdale the option of decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana. They gave Fort Lauderdale police officers the option to present somebody with a civil citation instead of arresting them for possession of marijuana or cannabis or issuing them a written arrest with a notice to appear.
The city commission in Fort Lauderdale decided to decline Broward County’s permission giving them the option of doing that. That could change, but currently, it is the practice in Fort Lauderdale. The option of decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana is not exercised by the city of Fort Lauderdale.
Law enforcement officers consistently target cocaine and crack cocaine nationwide. Fort Lauderdale and South Florida rank relatively higher as compared to some other areas around the country. Heroin is also a focus of detection, enforcement, and prosecution in Fort Lauderdale. The non-medical abuse of prescription opioids prevalent nationwide is no different in the Fort Lauderdale area as compared to other areas of Florida and the country – it remains an area of concern and law enforcement and detection in Fort Lauderdale.
Some people would argue that Florida and Fort Lauderdale have some of the most deadly and addictive drug problems. Law enforcement spends many resources, efforts, and time on investigating and prosecuting the non-medical use of prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines, also known as Xanax, and is a significant problem in Fort Lauderdale.
Law enforcement is also focusing on methamphetamine and amphetamines. At a much lower level, law enforcement still investigates and prosecutes marijuana, cannabis, and synthetic cannabis cases quite vigorously. They are still arresting and prosecuting people for marijuana especially felony amounts in cultivation and grow houses in the Fort Lauderdale area.
Medical Marijuana Laws
Fort Lauderdale and statewide, there is the passage of the constitutional amendment for medical marijuana. The Broward County Commission is considering laws to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries and grow operations in their incorporated neighborhood. They are waiting on the Florida legislature to pass a new law and present new bills regarding the medical marijuana constitutional amendment before the cities and the counties pass any ordinances for handling the regulation and zoning issues related to medical marijuana.
There should be more clarity in the future of enforcing laws for drug offenses in Ft Lauderdale. However, the two main local laws presently affecting drug crimes in Fort Lauderdale are the city’s ability to decriminalize misdemeanor possession of marijuana and the medical marijuana constitutional amendment.
Role of Geography and Population
When establishing the enforcement of local drug offense laws in Fort Lauderdale, law officers and the government take location and population into account. South Florida is by nature a transient community. The state of Florida is a peninsula surrounded by water. It is close to the Caribbean, South America, and Central America. There are numerous arrival zones from areas that are known for the origination of illegal drugs or controlled substances. Fort Lauderdale is a large, racially, and ethnically diverse population. The habits and usages run across all types of populations and cultures. Many cruise ships come in and out of Fort Lauderdale. It is one of the busiest cruise-ship ports in the world with about 15 different cruise line services in Port Everglades.
Likelihood of Drug Abuse
Due to weakened drug laws, there was an opportunity for abuse of pain management clinics, pill mills, and doctor shopping in the Fort Lauderdale area. Cocaine remains a big problem because of the importation of cocaine in Fort Lauderdale. There is a significant amount of cannabis cultivation in the agricultural areas in and around Fort Lauderdale and The Everglades adding to the problem of abuse of illegal substances.
Both the location and ever-changing local laws can affect enforcement of Ft. Lauderdale drug offenses. Fort Lauderdale’s proximity to the Caribbean, the Bahamas, and Jamaica make it conducive to the importation of controlled substances and marijuana. It makes drug enforcement, drug detection, and drug prosecution a bit different in Fort Lauderdale as compared to other parts of the state and the country.