Medical marijuana supporters gathered at the Capitol Tuesday in a show of support for legalization. They’re championing a bill by Rep. Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) that he says would allow doctors to be the decision makers on who qualifies for medical marijuana and who doesn’t.
The Florida Sheriffs Association opposes the initiative, but Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Neil Franklin says the time for change is now. “You know it’s time for law enforcement to get out of this business of trying to tell people what’s best for them and let the doctors and let the patients decide what’s best for them, and that’s what’s happening here today at the state Capitol,” said Franklin.
The rally featured politicians and citizens like ALS patient Cathy Jordan. Jordan became a poster child for medical cannabis after her husband, Robert Jordan was arrested on cultivation charges in 2013. He was able to avoid jail time after a Florida prosecutor dropped charges, but he says the threat of legal action still lingers. “They gave us medical necessity. So it’s just strange, we’re in a grey area here... we’re semi-legal. They know we grow cannabis, they know she uses it and they’re not arresting us. But what we need this legislation for is to stop the threat of arrest, they can arrest us anytime.”
Rep. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) has filed a similar bill in the House, Tuesday. Steube’s bill doesn’t allow medical marijuana to be smoked and creates a more limited list of acceptable conditions.