Of all the hogwash, lame, bullshit accusations that were thrown up against Amendment 2 in last year's election, there was one argument that did ring true for me. Medical marijuana doesn't really belong in the state constitution. It's an issue that is best handled by the legislature and the appropriate state regulatory agencies. The reason that we went the route of a constitutional amendment is that the legislature failed to act. Maybe that's changing.
Seriously sick Floridians and those who can’t find adequate prescription drugs would be allowed access to medical-grade marijuana under a major cannabis bill filed Monday by a top Florida Republican state senator.
St. Petersburg Sen. Jeff Brandes’ 28-page legislation, the most far-reaching of its kind by a top legislative leader, seeks to regulate the cultivation, distribution and use of medical marijuana in Florida.
The bill mirrors parts of a proposed constitutional amendment that garnered 57.6 percent of the vote. That amendment, which failed because it didn’t meet a 60 percent threshold for approval, has been redrafted and could appear on the 2016 ballot.
Brandes said he opposed the amendment, largely because he thought the Legislature should be in charge of making such a major change to healthcare and criminal law in Florida.
“We should allow for physicians and patients to make decisions about their medical care,” Brandes said. “It’s about the physician-patient relationship — for me, that’s the compelling reason. You hear stories of people struggling.”
The proponents of the medical-marijuana constitutional amendment cheered Brandes’ proposal.
Floridians have spoken on the issue of medical marijuana and Sen. Brandes has heard them, said Ben Pollara, the executive director of the United for Care group that has back the proposed amendments.In the time since the last election, another good friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer. It's not looking good. It started in the prostate but has now spread to the liver and lungs. There are a whole host of medical options available to him, including powerful, addictive opiates, chemotherapy, and irradiating him to the point where he and his wife of 50 years will no longer be able to share the same bed. But a simple non-addictive herb that can alleviate his pain and nausea is prohibited by law.
That has got to change.