Florida Lawmakers Approve Bill to Butcher Medical Cannabis Law Approved by Voters

A Florida House committee has overwhelmingly passed a measure that would drastically alter a medical cannabis law approved by voters last year.

The House Health Quality Subcommittee passed House Bill 1397 yesterday with a 14 to 1 vote. The measure, sponsored by House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, would prohibit the smoking of medical cannabis and cannabis products and would ban edibles entirely. In addition, it would prohibit patients from vaping unless they are terminally ill. This would leave patients to rely on other methods of consumption such as topicals and pills.

This would be a drastic change to Amendment 2, the initiative that legalized medical cannabis in the state; it was approved by voters in November with 71% in favor. The constitutional amendment allows those with a recommendation from a physician to possess and use medical cannabis, and to purchase it from a licensed dispensary.

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Florida Officials Begin Issuing Medical Marijuana Cards to Patients

Florida’s Office of Compassionate Use has officially started issuing medical marijuana cards to patients and caregivers.

florida medical marijuanaAccording to Mara Gambinieri, spokesperson for the state’s Department of Health, their Office of Compassionate Use began processing patient applications once the state’s new medical marijuana rules took effect on February 19th.

Under the state’s law, those with a qualifying condition who receive a recommendation from a physician to use medical marijuana can apply with the department to do so. Qualifying conditions include HIV/AIDS, cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease,¬†chronic muscle spasms,¬†amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) and Crohn’s disease.

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