Police confronted Richard Spurrier, 67, who had allegedly been handing out marijuana at about 11:00 p.m. Saturday. When asked why, he allegedly said, "because it's Christmas."
At the time of writing, it was unclear how police became aware of Spurrier's alleged crimes. It had also yet to be revealed how much marijuana he had allegedly handing out and to whom. What is clear, however, is that he allegedly had 45 grams -- a bit less than two ounces -- of marijuana on him at the time of his arrest.
Additionally, police allegedly found a secret sword stashed within Spurrier's cane.
Spurrier was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell. It does not appear as if Spurrier has been charged in connection with the alleged hidden sword. As FindLaw explains, in most jurisdictions in the 50 states, it's illegal to carry a sword in public, with the exception of some religious practices, whether it's concealed or displayed openly.
Florida, meanwhile, has not followed the trend of other states that have either legalized recreational marijuana, or have legalized it for medical use with a system that allows for comparative ease of access to the product.
As Wikileaf explains, The Sunshine State recently legalized medical marijuana, to a degree. The law requires patients to meet one of several specified conditions, such as having cancer, before they can legally be allowed to purchase medical marijuana from a dispensary, and only from a dispensary. Florida patients can't grow their own. The product sold at Florida dispensaries is low-THC. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that provides the "high" from its use. Only recently did Florida change the law to allow smokeable marijuana to be sold.
Recreational marijuana use remains illegal in Florida, which means that it's illegal to stand on a street and hand out pot to folks.
What's more, possession of 20 grams or less in Florida is a misdemeanor, but possession of more than 20 grams is a felony. Spurrier was allegedly caught with more than twice that.
Things may yet be changing for marijuana users in The Sunshine State, however. An advocacy group, Make It Legal Florida, is currently gathering signatures with a view toward getting a recreational legalization amendment on the 2020 ballot for voters to consider.
Elsewhere in Florida, some counties and municipalities, such as Orlando and Key West, have decriminalized possession of "small amounts" of pot, issuing a citation rather than hauling the offender off to jail.