PARRISH – There are over a dozen states that allow the use of medical marijuana, and now one new lawmaker is pushing for it in Florida. State Representative Jeff Clemens, a Lake Worth Democrat, made the announcement that he’d like the voters to decide on the issue next year.
During Clemens’ speech to reporters, Cathy Jordan, a 61-year-old woman from Parrish, joined the representative at the podium. She suffers from ALS and smokes cannabis a couple of times a day. She says she’s living proof that the illegal drug works for those who are suffering.
Doctors told her she only had a few years to live. That was in 1986.
Now, twenty-five years after she was diagnosed, Jordan is still here. She gives credit to marijuana for that.
“I have a smoke in the morning, and then I’ll smoke around lunchtime. If I smoke, I can go in the pool, I can go shopping, and I can do other things.” Jordan, who has a hard time speaking, says the cannabis helps ease her symptoms associated with ALS, such as tremors, drooling and gagging. “It not only calms my body down, but it works on my brain.”
For years, she has been an advocate for getting it legalized in the state. In fact, she recently joined Representative Clemens in Tallahassee when he introduced a resolution to put an amendment on the 2012 ballot that would do just that. “This man not only spoke for me, he let me read my statement. He made sure everyone understood what I said.”
While many may have understood, its unlikely the resolution will make its way through the legislature. And that’s largely because of concerns shared by multiple politicians about legalizing a drug, even if it is for just medical use.
A majority of the public, however, appears to be thinking differently. A recent poll indicated that 57% of Floridians would support the legalization of medical marijuana.