Florida Gets Medical Marijuana Bill

A Florida House Representative has formally introduced a medical cannabis bill this week.

Advocates and the sponsor are held a press conference at the Capitol Building in Tallahassee.

The Tampa Bay Times/Herald reported:

Rep. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, has filed a joint resolution that if passed would let voters in 2012 weigh in on a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana.

The law would allow the use of medical marijuana if it’s recommended by physicians for patients with “debilitating medical conditions.” The proposal also allows the Legislature to set a maximum quantity of marijuana that can be owned for medical use, but that amount could be exceeded if a patient or doctor says greater amounts are necessary. Patients under 18 could use marijuana for medical purposes if two physicians diagnose the patient with a medical condition and the patient’s parents agree to it.

Among other things the measure would not allow for is the use of medical marijuana “in plain view of the general public.” It also says health insurers wouldn’t be required to reimburse patients for medical marijuana costs.

Recent polling by the Florida Republicans indicates a groundswell of public support for the issue: 57% of Floridians reported that they want to legalize medical marijuana,

The extra momentum for the new legislation came from an interesting place; two senior activists.

Robert Platshorn,  also known as Bobby Tuna, spent 30 years in federal prison for smuggling marijuana in the 1970’s. Now’s he’s giving talks about the benefits of medical cannabis as part of the NORML/High Times Silver Tour to educate seniors.

Bobby has been joining Irvin Rosenfeld, one of the four surviving federal medical marijuana patients, for special presentations to local  political clubs.

NORML South Florida attended local legislative meetings in January with Rep. Clemens in attendance.

After Bobby spoke in front of the Palm Beach County delegation Clemens requested more information and quickly introduced the resolution.

For more information on how you can support the Florida initiative, visit People United for Medical Marijuana

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