Robert Jordan grows marijuana in Florida, and he does so for his wife, Cathy Jordan, who suffers from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Because of marijuana, Cathy has lived over 20 years past her doctor’s original prediction: The average lifespan of those who have the disease is 3-5 years. Marijuana, according to her husband, helps Cathy combat depression, lost appetite and muscle spasms.
Despite the clear necessity of Cathy using this medicine, medical cannabis isn’t legal in Florida, and by growing it Robert risks year of prison time. Growing up to 25 plants in Florida is a charge that carries up to 15 years in prison: 25 plants or more carries a mandatory minimum of 3 years.
Last month, Robert and Cathy were raided by local police, and over 20 plants were found. Many believe the action to be politically motivated, as Florida lawmakers discuss legislation named in Cathy’s honor which would legalize medical marijuana in the state. Recent polling has found that 70% of residents in Florida support such a move, showing how strong the disconnection is between public opinion and state law.
Standing up for his rights, Jordan has turned down a recent plea bargain from Florida State’s Attorney’s Office.
Doing so may be smart, as he may have one of the rare cases that could win a medical necessity case. In Florida, despite the state having no medical marijuana law, some individuals (the first instance being in 1988) have been able to get their charge cleared, or lowered, by proving that they used, possessed or cultivated their cannabis for medical reasons.
Regardless of how things pan out, Jordan, who will soon be charged now that he denied the plea bargain, is rightfully non-apologetic. He also has no plans to discontinue what he’s doing, “I can’t stop doing what I’m doing and let my wife die,” Robert told the Herald Tribune, “They only thing I can see is to throw myself on the mercy of the court”.
We urge everyone to keep Robert and Cathy on their minds, and to help raise awareness to their case. We also urge Florida residents to look up and contact their legislators, urging them to support HB 1139, the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act.