Will Florida be the next state to legalize medical marijuana? Will it follow states like Colorado in making it easier for citizens to access marijuana for medical needs? A bill in the Florida legislature is trying to do just that. And there is man running for governor of the state who wants to make sure that chronically ill patients can get medical cannabis without living in fear of arrest by the police.
“Florida State Senator Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, introduced the bill last week. It's called the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act, SB 1250. Representatives from Clemens office said if passed it would mean you can smoke marijuana if you’ve been medically diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition including epilepsy, chronic back pain, depression, multiple sclerosis, among other medical conditions.”
Cathy Jordan suffers from Lou Gehrig’s Disease and uses cannabis to alleviate some of her pain. Obviously the raid on her premises was a way of intimidating her and her husband from publicly supporting the bill. Her husband is a disabled Vietnam vet. The law enforcement community is wheeling out their consistent opposition to legalization of cannabis for medical use, citing “no proof” of its benefits.
Roger Stone, yes the irony is delicious, is running for governor as a Libertarian and is a strong supporter of medical cannabis. The former Nixon staffer, who has his image tattooed on his back, is consistent with his party on the issue ... Like most libertarians he believes that cannabis should ultimately be legal, regulated and taxed. He told the East Orlando Post the following in a recent interview:
“In the short term, marijuana needs to be available for medicinal purposes. I have seen firsthand the positive effects it has on people who are suffering and it’s unimaginable that we are forcing them to commit criminal acts to alleviate pain.”
Stone said he would let the people decide whether or not to allow their fellow citizens to self-medicate.
Ballot initiatives have been successful in several states to adopt measures to legalize medical cannabis. Several more can be expected in 2014, when Stone will be running for Florida governor. Considering the following result in a recent Miami Herald poll on the subject the initiative has a good chance of passing. A recent Miami Herald poll reveals that nearly 70% of Florida residents are pro-marijuana legalization. Just 24% voiced opposition toward it.
The pressure is on in Florida to legalize medical cannabis, and the proposed bill and a high-profile libertarian running for governor can only increase its visibility in the Sunshine State. Could legalization of medical cannabis add yet another attraction for older Americans to move to Florida when they retire?