Lawmaker Launches DIY Special Session Campaign

May 30, 2017

Momentum is building for an unusual, do-it-yourself special session on medical marijuana, although the legislator behind it admits he faces long odds.

Sen. Darryl Rousson, D-St. Petersburg, has launched a letter-writing campaign in hopes lawmakers will call themselves into special session to implement rules for medical marijuana.
Credit Restek

It’s almost never done, but lawmakers can call themselves into special session if at least 32 trigger the process with a formal letter to the secretary of state. Senator Darryl Rousson says he’s glad that 16 letters have come in so far.

“I am encouraged by those members who realize that all a letter does is trigger a poll, so that the entire Legislature can speak to this issue.”

Ultimately, three-fifths of each chamber, or 24 senators and 78 House members, must approve. Rousson says it’s worth the long odds because voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 2 -- and people are suffering.

“They talk about children who suffer from epilepsy and the reduction in number of seizers that’s directly and causally related to medical cannabis.”

House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron are reportedly mulling a special session to implement Amendment 2 after compromise legislation failed. Traditional wisdom dictates a deal must be in hand first.

Meanwhile, the Florida Department of Health has already begun an expedited process to establish rules.