Florida Cannabis News Medical Marijuana

Florida Unwilling to Listen to Voter’s Will in Cannabis Laws

Back in November, Florida overwhelmingly voted to legalize cannabis in the state for medical use, 71.32% to 28.68%. The people had spoken and now the job fell on the newly minted Florida Legislature to decide the framework for the new medical cannabis system in the state.

Now, as we reach the middle of the 2nd quarter of 2017, it seems as though the conservative legislature feels it is their duty to limit the will of the people and set up a more restrictive system than most voters had in mind. The legislative session ends in just a few weeks, on May 5th and the government is supposed to have a plan by June and issuing medical marijuana cards by September.

Current State of Florida Medical Marijuana

As it stands now, in mid to late April, Tallahassee has been circulating two proposals on the cannabis issue and neither is very close to actually being agreed upon and implementing the system that voters came out to support in November.

The proposal in the Florida Senate, SB 406: Compassionate Use of Low-THC Cannabis and Marijuana, is an obviously play by the government to put highly restrictive elements into the level of THC in cannabis and the conditions that even qualify, to begin with. This plan would also require large sums of money in government oversight to create a branch of the Department of Health that needs to become cannabis testing experts and test each strain sold at one of the few dispensaries the law would allow.

The real problem is SB 406 is by far the less restrictive bill. The Florida House Bill, HB 1397: Medical Use of Marijuana, seeks to ban smokeable cannabis, edibles and vaping (check out our article What Are Dabs for more info on vaping). The bill also would put strict limits on the number of growers who are able to provide cannabis, which will most likely lead to a veritable monopoly and limited supply for patients.

The restrictive nature of this bill would basically render the entire system useless from the start. It seems like that is the will of the government, in a nutshell, they are looking to cut the legs out from under the medical marijuana industry in Florida before it gets started.

Activists Continue to Push For Change

But, pro-cannabis activists in the state have taken this opportunity to stand up and fight back consistently against the more restrictive House bill. Some advocates have taken the position that the best course of action is to improve SB 406 and try to get it as close as possible to what voters supported in November. Other cannabis supporters feel as though both bills will be highly regressive versions of the law that are not in the spirit of the vote and go against the will of the people.

While legislators may feel as though limiting medical cannabis in Florida will be a victory in their legislative session, they may end up hurting in the ballot box in the next election from the 71% of people who voted for medical cannabis. Only time will tell, but for now, the future of medical cannabis in Florida does not look bright.

2 thoughts on “Florida Unwilling to Listen to Voter’s Will in Cannabis Laws”

  1. I suffer from Crohn’s disease for over 32 years and moved here from California almost 2 years ago. I was ecstatic when the medical marijuana initiative was passed. After reading this article it is utterly disgusting what the legislators are doing, grant it I knew I was moving to a more conservative state than California. I didn’t think this state would hinder the 71% of the Floridians that approved it, including me. I want to know who I can call or write to, so that these imbeciles in the state capital don’t restrict the measure we voted for in November. We need THC and CBD in various strengths to manage everything from lack of appetite to pain. Look at the model in Colorado before the recreational component as a model. You will force people to have to go underground thus causing criminal activities to continue. Perhaps the legislators should focus theirs efforts on big pharmaceutical companies and the opioid addiction in this state. Don’t let the people down more people are moving to this beautiful state that believe that medical marijuana has so many benefits for the chronically ill and they will vote!

    1. We could not agree with you more Barabara, sorry we did not reply right away. Apparently, they were not able to come to an agreement and people like yourself who find relief with medical marijuana will be the ones to suffer. We wrote another article here outlining the current status of medical marijuana and how you can make contact with the people in charge. We hope they will call a special session and we hope the Florida voters have a long memory and hammer these representatives at the ballot box next election. Subverting the will of the voters is never a good strategy.

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