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Miami-Dade will no longer prosecute minor marijuana cases

August 10, 2019
In this July 18, 2017, file photo, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle gives a news conference in Miami, Fla. The Miami-Dade state attorney's office has announced it will stop prosecuting minor marijuana cases as a result of a new state law that legalized hemp. (AP Photo/Mario Houben, File)
In this July 18, 2017, file photo, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle gives a news conference in Miami, Fla. The Miami-Dade state attorney's office has announced it will stop prosecuting minor marijuana cases as a result of a new state law that legalized hemp. (AP Photo/Mario Houben, File)

MIAMI (AP) — Prosecutors in Florida’s largest county say they will stop prosecuting minor cases of marijuana cases as a result of a new state law that legalized hemp.

The Miami Herald reports there is no police crime lab in South Florida that tests for a cannabis chemical that gets users high. Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a Friday statement that authorities can’t “visually or microscopically” distinguish marijuana from hemp, which only has trace amounts of the psychoactive compound.

Miami-Dade police hope to conduct lab tests for felony cases within six months. Fernandez Rundle said proving misdemeanors of possession of 20 grams or less would be a “significant expenditure.”

Tallahassee’s state attorney also halted marijuana prosecutions after the law went into effect July 1.

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Information from: The Miami Herald, http://www.herald.com

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