Florida Lawmakers Voice Their Support of Medical Marijuana

Multiple medical marijuana bills are bouncing around the statehouse, and more and more Florida Lawmakers are beginning to voice their support of the approval of medical marijuana in the state.

Democratic Rep. Katie Edwards, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, and Senator Jeff Clemens took turns Monday voicing their opinions on the subject.

Senator Jeff Clemens said Monday the federal government has "dropped the ball for the last 30 or 40 years" in its marijuana policy and Florida is ready to pick it up. Clemens opinion is that views of marijuana are extremely outdated, and marijuana is a much safer alternative to ingredients in drugs widely used in current pharmaceuticals.

"This '50 and '60s era reefer madness attitude caused us to turn away from a plant as form of medicine and move to these synthetic drugs that are often a lot worse for our bodies,"

As the Daily Business Review reported, lawmakers spoke Monday on the future of medical marijuana in the state, and expressed confidence that this November's ballot initiative to legalize medicinal pot will pass, in particular bill (HB 843) that would approve an oil extract referred to as Charlotte's Web.

Parents of children with intractable epilepsy spoke of the successes the oil has seen in Colorado, where it is legal. The approval of the use of the oil extract would be a huge win in the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida, because it could establish precedence for the inevitable future passage of a ballot that helps legalize marijuana for medicinal use.

"I see what we're doing here as a framework, and while a lot of my colleagues don't want to talk about where we go after Charlotte's Web, there's a potential to make a lot of money and help a lot of people," Clemens said. "I fully expect the constitutional amendment to pass this fall and were going to be right back here next year and having to implement a full system of medical marijuana and we'll have compressed time frame to do it. "

"I suspect we are on a cautious walk forward, and this is the first step," Gaetz said.

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Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.
Contact: Ryan Yousefi