As promised, Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed into law a bill to implement the legalization of medical marijuana.
The governor’s signature comes after the House amended and passed the bill with a 103 to 9 vote, which was followed by a 29 to 6 vote in the Senate. The new law implements a medical cannabis legalization initiative approved by voters last year (Amendment 2). Controversially, the legislation removes patients’ ability to actually smoke medical marijuana, leaving them to rely on other methods of consumption such as edibles and tinctures.
“Don’t get me wrong: this legislation is FAR from perfect. But it is a major step forward for patient access, and is drastically different and more patient-friendly than either chamber’s original implementing bills”, says Ben Pollara of Florida for Care. Pollara was previously the Campaign Manager for United for Care, the group that successfully placed Amendment 2 on last year’s ballot.
“It’s a big moment—but our work must continue as we make sure local ordinances, agencies and other entities don’t put additional road blocks to patient access”, Pollara said following Governor Scott’s signature. “We are also going to work to try and solve some of the remaining deficiencies of the bill, like the ban on smoking, which violates the clear intent of the amendment that was passed.”