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Florida Voters Approve Expansive Medical Marijuana Law

  • by Danielle Keane, NORML Associate November 8, 2016

    According to the Associated Press, voters in Florida approved Amendment 2, an expansive medical marijuana law. The AP’s is reporting a final vote count of 71 percent to 29 percent. The Amendment required over 60 percent of the vote to become law.

    “The overwhelming majority of Floridians, like voters nationwide, believe that patients ought to have the legal option to choose marijuana therapy as an alternative to conventional, and often dangerous, pharmaceuticals,” said NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano. “With this historic vote, we can expect to see similar programs acknowledging the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis begin to take hold in the southeastern region of the United States.”

    Florida Medical Marijuana

    Amendment 2 amends the Florida state constitution so that qualified patients who possess a physician’s recommendation may legally possess and obtain medical cannabis provided by state licensed dispensaries. Under the law, a “debilitating medical condition” for which marijuana may be recommended includes is defined as “cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated, and for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.” The home cultivation of cannabis is not permitted under the law.

    Existing Florida law restricted limited qualifying patients only to high CBD strains of cannabis, unless they were terminally ill.

    Department of Health regulators must begin issuing patient identification cards within nine months of the new law’s enactment. You can read the full text of Amendment 2 here.

    “With broad support across all demographics, voters in Florida approved Amendment 2 by a landslide,” said Erik Altieri, NORML’s new Executive Director. “These results are a victory, not just for common sense public policy, but for patients all across the state who will now have access to a safe, effective treatment for a number of debilitating ailments.”

    26 Responses to “Florida Voters Approve Expansive Medical Marijuana Law”

    1. Curt says:

      I’m a former Floridian who had to move to CA 3 years ago because I was constantly being harassed by the law over pot I need for my liver cancer. I’m 66 and I say ITS ABOUT TIME!

    2. Drew says:

      So, as I sit here in pain, I realize, I still can’t go and get my medicine. See, the BATFE will see me as a drug user addicted to a controlled schedule 1 narcotic. Marijuana has a long way to go. I left Afghanistan on a chopper because I got blown up pretty good. I was later retired from Army Active duty and I’m no longer an infantryman. But I still have my fingers and toes. So I still go shooting and build my ARs and pistols. But I still can’t get the medicine I need. See, it’s now legal in Florida to get a medical Mary card, but the va says if I piss hot they’ll refuse me for all the back problems and treatment I get there. In addition to them giving me the boot, if my state gives me a magical
      Mary card, the Feds will take my guns. They’ll take my concealed permit, probably forty grand worth of firearms and ammo, and I become a 100% disabled combat veteran without a job or a hobby. I’m a part time gunsmith. And I shoot competition. And I still can’t get my medicine. Whose going to help me? I’m 33 years old with no felonies and for the past 11 years a 100% clean record. A couple driving mishaps in my late teens and early 20s. But that’s it. I’m a red white and blue American who needs medicine and I still can’t get it. Can’t piss hot or I lose it all. 100% VA Disabled. What to do now? The Feds are bass ackwards.

      • Aja Moore says:

        You are going to be surprised what the VA actually does. I know from personal experience we use to stress out around appointments and get him clean it was too much. I asked one day what would happen and the doctor flat out said she would loose the results and stop requiring the test. It is more to make sure patients are swallowing the poison pills. The feds have said in regards to the VA in states where it is recognized as legal they need to take all options into consideration. As for the gun part of your situation I think it’s crazy they can dictate who can do what, but maybe that will change soon.

      • Mike says:

        VA Wont mess with you after law goes into effect. VA has stated if the state laws are in place, you will be able to get meds for your pain.

        • Rich C says:

          If u r on any opiates or something similar the VA will periodically drug test u for street drugs including MMJ If u test positive they will cut u off. They will however continue to treat u. I’m speaking from experience. I would tread lightly. Do not believe anyone who tells u otherwise. Feel free to talk to you doctor. Besides it’s not the VA ruling it’s the DEA or FDA. I went to my personal doctor in an attempt to get around it and he informed me that I had to take a drug test if I wanna continue taking Tramadol

      • Michelle says:

        First of all, God Bless you and thank you for your service. I fail to see why you would be drug tested by the VA. I am not knowledgeable as to their rules. But with what you have said, I think you should start a petition immediately, and lawyer up. You could change the course of history by changong the law. Don’t give up because of the roadblocks, instead, embrace the challenge and enlist the help of your fellow servicemen who are in the same predicament.. Prayers…..

      • Paul A Dye says:

        Drew you’re one of the many people who’ve served our country, kept me free from the people who want my life and became disabled because of it. You are the reason I’m going to battle against Pig pharma, who’d much rather you be hooked on the money train. It’s appalling.

      • Jenny M says:

        As a fellow disabled veteran I understand and can relate to your post. However, just an FYI the VA can & will stop your narcotics but not stop treating you if you piss hot. I am telling you this because it happened to me. They also don’t take away your benefits. I don’t know who told you that you would loose anything other than the narcotics. But having been through this first hand I can assure you that it is not true.

        • Rich C says:

          I agree with u. If u r on any opiates or something similar the VA will periodically drug test u for street drugs including MMJ If u test positive they will cut u off. They will however continue to treat u. I’m speaking from experience.

      • Jon says:

        I feel for your brother… I’m a hundred percent to and live in California. We didn’t have a problem with the opiates through the VA and still using cannabis so long as we had a state card but recently that changed there are plenty of us here Friday ticket are pain meds reinstated… good luck.

      • Sharon says:

        How can they be so stupid?? I have severe rheumatoid arthritis they don’t even have my disease listed. I took those biologic meds for 10 yrs could hardly dress myself. 8 yrs ago I started to smoke weed again Quit the humira only take a few of the many meds I used to and I can do so much now without debilitating pain. Best thing I ever did!

      • Rosa says:

        The VA Medical Centers have been approved to dispense medical marijuana earlier this year in Florida.

    3. a good start says:

      now,
      let’s start working to make florida the first state to have FULLY LEGAL marijuana !!

      no loss of our kids,

      no loss of our gun rights,

      no loss of our veteran’s benefits, or medicare benefits,

      no loss of our jobs or our occupational licences,

      no loss of our drivers licence,

      no confiscation of our houses and cars and money,

      no one ounce limits,

      and the RIGHT to GROW YOUR OWN,
      ect.

      regulate marijuana LESS HARSHLY than alcohol is regulated,

      regulate marijuana LESS HARSHLY than
      tobacco is regulated,

      regulate marijuana LESS HARSHLY than prescription pills are regulated.

      it is an ALL NATURAL, HERBAL MEDICINE,
      and it should be regulated just like ginsing, goldenseal, echinacea, and other MEDICINAL HERBS are regulated.

      we do not need more ‘baby steps’.

      we do not need to keep pandering to the LYING prohibitionists,
      who make millions of dollars off of prohibition,
      because THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE.

      even the prohibitionists,
      KNOW THE TRUTH,
      they know they are just selling lies.
      do not let them continue to profit, by selling lies.

      MY body,
      is MY body,
      and the government has NO VALID CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY, to tell me, what i cannot consume.

      i should have the RIGHT to consume RAT POISON,
      if i want to.

      MY body,
      IS NOT THE PROPERTY of the government.

      • Ves says:

        unfortunately the government, if it feels it has a compelling interest, does have the authority to say what you may ingest. But I agree all drugs, with the exception of antibiotics, should be a personal choice. I am a 100% disabled vet with severe chronic pain and PTSD and for years I have used marijuana to help relieve the symptoms and it worked fine. But I got a bad batch and I stopped. I made a deal with my VA doc that I would get pain meds (morphine and oxy) if I stopped using weed. I have taken many pee test and freely admitted to the VA that I was using without consequence. Now that it will soon be legal and I can get a card I’m stopping the pain meds and start using weed again if it’s safe and legal.

        • a good start says:

          ves said; unfortunately the government, if it feels it has a compelling interest, does have the authority to say what you may ingest.

          i say; please read the constitution,
          and tell me where it says that.

          while i am one million percent sure that they will CLAIM to have such powers,
          they do not.

          remember; it took an amendment to the constitution,
          to grant congress the power to make alcohol illegal,
          and then that power was lost,
          when that amendment was overturned,
          on the grounds that it was UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

          so, that proves it, THREE TIMES;
          1. they did not have that power, untill they changed the constitution, by amendment;
          2. they lost that power, when that amendment was overturned,
          3. and that amendment was overturned,
          BECAUSE it was a completely and blatantly UNCONSTITUTIONAL power grab.

          congress granted to the d.e.a.,
          (originally called the f.b.n.),
          a power it DID NOT HAVE.

          that is like me,
          giving to you,
          a bridge that i do not own.

    4. Tyson Newton says:

      Ive had ptsd from torture, since a young age and been smoking pot since around 4 yrs of age. Im happy that MMJ has passed in florida. Im a rehabilitated career criminal clean of trouble for 6yrs now, im wondering if it’ll be legal like colorado and other MMJ states with dispensaries and if i could get into that industry legally. Being a convicted felon.

    5. Gina says:

      Come to Colorado they don’t do that here as far as the VA and Piss tests if I’m not mistaken. I know lots of veterans that use cannabis

    6. Anonymous says:

      What quantaty is legal too possess?

    7. Anonymous says:

      What does it take too open dispensary?

    8. Rich C says:

      I’d like know if THC strains will be allowed in Florida or only high CBD strains? Will concentrates be allowed?

    9. Tee says:

      So NOW what? I will undoubtedly qualify for a prescription but WHEN? Does anyone know what he steps will be in the process of actually getting the medicine into the hands of the patients? Will it take months? Years? Will there be huge expense?

    10. a good start says:

      NOW, would be a good time, for NORML to reach out to DONALD TRUMP.

      TRUMP is sure to be very busy, after he takes office.

      and we should do it now, before he decides on his cabinet and appointments.

      add up all the states that have;

      1. decrim. of mj;
      2. medical mj WITH THC;
      3. medical mj, with CBD only;
      4. recreational use of mj;
      5. and HEMP farming;

      it equals about 40 out of 50 states,
      plus washington dc.

      and almost all, were done by voter innitiataves.

      isn’t that a big enough VOTING BLOCK for him to pay a little attention to our views ??

      TRUMP promised to create jobs.

      removing the federal ban on mj,
      would create millions of jobs.

      TRUMP said he wanted to stop the flow of drugs across the border from mexico.

      removing the federal ban on mj,
      would allow us to grow our own supply, stop the flow from mexico,
      and keep our money from flowing south,
      and concentrate on the smuggling of hard drugs.

      TRUMP said he wanted to restore respect for law enforcement.

      when law enforcement stops arresting non-violent, non-criminals,
      and focuses on REAL crimes,
      with real VICTIMS,
      law enforcement will regain the respect it has lost.

      TRUMP said he wanted to “make america great again” ;
      the PROHIBITION of mj, has definately reduced our greatness.

      TRUMP said he wanted to help african americans;
      PROHIBITION has disproportionally harmed african americans.

      TRUMP said he was against “political correctness”;
      the government’s insistance that mj has ‘no medical value’ is pure “political correctness”.

      TRUMP said he wanted to replace ‘obammacare’ with something MUCH better;
      removing the federal mj ban, and allowing medical mj, in every state, can be a part of that.

      and if TRUMP does something for us,
      it will make obamma look bad,
      because obamma promised to do something for us,
      (legalize mj, or at least decim)
      and he did not.

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