The Florida Supreme Court has already approved the language for the proposed constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. Now it appears that three Florida state senators are working on passing a bill to legalize medical marijuana for a certain type of patient. These “three Republican state senators filed a bill that would legalize a marijuana extract that supporters say can help children with a form of epilepsy. The bill, filed by two local senators and one senator in southwest Florida, is similar to a House proposal that had already been filed.” The senators are Rob Bradley, Aaron Bean, and Jeff Brandes. Sen. Bradley is from Fleming Island in Clay County FL. He is a Clay County lawyer and former prosecutor. Sen. Aaron Bean is from Fernandina Beach. He represents Florida Senate District 4. This includes Duval and Nassau Counties. Jeff Brandes is a senator from St. Petersburg. All three of them “signed onto the measure that would legalize a marijuana extract that supporters say can help children with a form of epilepsy. Many people may be surprised Republicans are behind the bill, but Bradley said it’s about helping those in need.”
This bill differs from the November ballot question. When it comes to the Senate and House bills, the focus is “on a substance that has a relatively small amount of THC, the component in marijuana that gives a user a high.” In November voters will decide “on a much broader proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana.” This amendment would be used to legalize marijuana for a wider range of people and medicinal purposes. Read Florida Supreme Court Approves Medical Marijuana Ballot on the Jacksonville lawyers website for the complete article about the legalization of marijuana in Florida.
Sen. Bradley said that “one family’s story inspired him to file the bill.” The story is about a little girl named RayAnn. She is 10-years-old suffers with severe epilepsy. Her family would like her “to try medical marijuana to see if it helps her condition.” Channel 4 News in Jacksonville reported:
“When the legislative session begins in March, Florida’s leaders will hear from affected families, along with doctors. ‘We’re going to hear from these families and make sure this is done in a way that is done that doesn’t have unintended consequences,’ Bradley said. Unintended consequences include this form of marijuana falling into the hands of someone who doesn’t need treatment. That’s why Bradley said what he wants legalized is the non-smokable form that’s delivered by drops under the tongue and doesn’t make someone high. Bradley said the hope is to introduce medical marijuana in a responsible way so it doesn’t become a problem, even though some people may not favor the bill…. If passed, hundreds of children could qualify to use this form of treatment.”
Due to the nature of the drug that the bill is proposing, there is a good chance that people will support this bill even if they that oppose the amendment legalizing medical marijuana. I imagine that people that oppose the bill are worried about a slippery slope. Essentially, they are worried that this will open the door to legalizing marijuana in general in the future. While it appears that Florida is getting closer and closer to permitting the use of marijuana in the state, it is still a crime to possess marijuana. If you are caught with marijuana, you will be charged with possession of cannabis in Jacksonville. This can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the amount of marijuana involved.