Florida Supreme Court Upholds State’s 2002 Drug Law
Florida won’t be opening its prisons doors to allow people jailed on drug charges to walk free just yet.
The Florida Supreme Court, in a 5-2 ruling released Thursday, reversed a circuit judge's decision that the 2002 drug law violates constitutional due process requirements.
Manatee County Circuit Judge Scott Brownell had dismissed 46 charges in September against 42 defendants, declaring the 10-year-old law unconstitutional because it had eliminated a requirement that prosecutors must prove a defendant had knowledge that a substance they sold or possessed was illegal.
But in State of Florida v. Luke Jarrod Adkins, Et Al., Justice Charles Canady noted that “There is no constitutional right to possess contraband” and “Nor is there a protected right to be ignorant of the nature of the property in one‘s possession.”