The Medical Weed Issues in Florida

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Andy Luis, a patient consultant at Trulieve, Miami’s first retail medical marijuana dispensary located near Miami International Airport, exhibits a vaporiser that can be used with products sold at this store on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 C.M. GUERRERO
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Let me preface this — I don’t smoke, it irritates my lungs. However, I advocate for people who have serious medical needs who would benefit from medical weed. Back in the 90’s, my Nana had to have an ostomy after having a good chunk of her innards removed due to colon cancer. Weed, not considered medicinal then, helped her through the pain, helped her start eating again, and helped her get better. That woman is a work horse, and ever after having gone through all that went back to work. 

So, last November the state of FL voted pretty unanimously to legalize medical weed.

Now, they fucked it all up.

The House passed a bill pretty much making it illegal to smoke medical weed.

The Florida House passed legislation that would put medical marijuana into effect in the state after making last-minute changes released by bill sponsors Tuesday morning.

Under the House’s proposal (HB 1397), patients with a list of conditions — including cancer, HIV/AIDS and epilepsy — could be certified to obtain medical marijuana by a doctor. The bill also says that patients with chronic pain can access the drug, but only if that pain is directly linked to a debilitating condition that would have qualified them regardless.

The bill passed 105-9 with votes against it coming from some of the House’s most liberal and most conservative members.

Restrictions and limitations in the bill — including a limited number of license holders and a ban on smoking [but you can still use edibles and vape weed] — are inspired by concerns that the federal government might decide Florida’s medical cannabis program is too unregulated, House sponsor and Republican Leader Ray Rodrigues of Estero said.

“We have to make it legal and available to Florida residents, but we have to do it in such a way that it complies to the guidance we’ve been given by the federal government,” he said.

The bill represents the largest number of new growers proposed to date by the House. It would automatically give the potentially very lucrative license to the seven growers currently licensed under a more limited cannabis program, plus 10 new growers right off the bat. After that, four new growers could enter the market for every 100,000 patients.

According to Rodrigues, “95 percent” of the language in the legislation represents a compromise with the Florida Senate, which is expected to take up its bill for the first time on Wednesday.

Some House Democrats raised concerns that the bill was too restrictive. Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, and other liberal Democrats said the bill should allow all patients with chronic pain and permit smoking, which it bans outright.

“Last time I checked, Florida was the Sunshine State not a nanny state,” Smith said. “Who are we to tell legitimate patients they cannot smoke their cannabis? That’s not our business.”

The group behind Amendment 2, which set this legislation in motion, said they do not support Rodrigues’ language.

“HB 1397 puts profits over patient access,” Florida for Care executive director Ben Pollarasaid in a statement. “It not only maintains but strengthens the cartel system of licensed marijuana growers in Florida. … Prices will be high, quality will be low and choices will be few.”

Conservative lawmakers, meanwhile said Rodrigues’ proposal puts into place something that, though approved by 71 percent of voters last November, ought not be part of state law.

“I don’t believe that medical marijuana exists. I just don’t,” said Rep. Julio Gonzalez, R-Sarasota, one of three medical doctors in the Florida House. “I’m stuck as a physician.”

He likened medical marijuana to the myth that surrounds Gasparilla.

But Rodrigues, who did not vote for Amendment 2, says the bill represents a compromise between open access for patients and the restrictions that come from cannabis being classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance by the federal government.

This may open up the market for medical weed suppositories (sarcasm).



3 thoughts on “The Medical Weed Issues in Florida

  1. Like parts of America our states are going through trials (otherwise known as governmental bullshit) with this. The Federal government is full of god fearing, money loving rich people who are scared to do anything new and they are happy for the states to do it, but the states can’t do it all themselves even though a few of them are trying….well trying as much as any government does,

    I don’t have a problem with the idea behind it and I’ve always thought weed in this country should be decriminalised (as opposed to legalised), damn the government could sell it like they sell tobacco and fix all our tax issues. What I have a problem with is governments doing so little about it because they are scared to jump. I understand they don’t want to make themselves liable for someone getting medical weed and doing something silly but it’s not really any different to legal substances like tobacco and alcohol in that regard.

    The really silly thing is because of our laws it’s illegal to grow, so even those involved in the government trials that have to right to be using and studying it have to import it.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Our governments are too scared to jump incase they find themselves liable. I kind of understand their reasoning but we pay these monkeys to do a job. If there is research needed, do it and do it quickly then make a decision, don’t fart around making the decision to research. It’s funny how the opposition government are always up for the idea until they get into power.

        Liked by 1 person

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