Medical marijuana bill introduced in Florida House, Senate

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Members of the Florida House and Senate introduced a new medical marijuana bill Wednesday in an attempt to make the drug’s use legal for Florida residents for treatment of certain medical conditions.

“Unfortunately Florida’s been a little bit behind much of the rest of the country when it comes to medical marijuana. This is just the second time to my knowledge that it’s been done and it’s well past due,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, a national organization that seeks to reform a national marijuana legislation.

Last year a similar set of bills was introduced but were both struck down in committees.

If passed, State Bill 1250 would make possession of four ounces or less of marijuana legal for seriously ill people and their caregivers. According to ABC Action News the bill is also known as the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act.

Jordan, a Manatee County resident who suffers from ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, had 23 marijuana plants seized from her home on Monday.

Tvert says Florida is behind the curve with its current marijuana laws.

“There are now 18 states, as well as Washington D.C., that have laws protecting medical marijuana patients and allowing them to access marijuana legally,” he said. “It’s time Florida joined those states and take that step.”

The Marijuana Policy Project is supporting the bill under consideration.

Tvert says support for the bill is higher than ever across the country and that the people are ready.

“Support for allowing medical marijuana for seriously ill people has been growing every single year for quite some time, and it set a record high. A poll that was released by the Miami Herald showed that 70 percent of Florida voters think its time to allow seriously ill people to use marijuana in the treatment of their conditions and symptoms,” he said.

WUFT attempted to contact state Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-District 27), who introduced the bill, and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-District 4) chair of the House Criminal Justice subcommittee. Neither could be reached for comment.

Sarah Brand edited his story online.

Correction: An earlier version of this story online incorrectly stated the House and Senate voted on the bill. The measure is only a proposal and no votes have been taken.

About Kelsey Meany

Kelsey is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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