Measures that would legalize medical marijuana in the Sunshine State are not having any luck of getting a hearing in the Senate or House, but a legislation that outlaws the sale of bongs — marijuana pipes — has moved forward.
State Senator Jeff Clemens’ Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act (SB 1250) and Rep. Katie Edwards’ HB 1139 seek to allow Floridians with debilitating illnesses to legally obtain and use marijuana if prescribed by their physicians.
Clemens’ bill was named after Cathy Jordan, a woman suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) since 1986 and who uses marijuana to ease her symptoms. Last month, the woman’s home was raidedÂ by the Manatee County sheriff’s officers which led to the confiscation of more than 20 pot plants.
“If there is another drug that can help her, tell me what it is and we will use it, but there’s not. I’m going to do what I have to do to keep my wife alive,” Cathy Jordan’s husband told 10News.
While SB 1250 and HB 1139 have given the Jordans and other Floridians with debilitating conditions some hope, it seems they’d still have to wait indefinitely until the Senate or House schedules a hearing for the proposals. Adding to their agony in the meantime is the fact that more attention is being given to the banning of bong sale.
Rep. Edwards couldn’t help but express her impatience over how the state’s medical marijuana legislations are being sidestepped.
“I think, shame on us as a Legislature for not taking advantage of this opportunity to hear the bill this year,” Edwards said.
Edwards herself didn’t think of sponsoring such a bill until she got sick and spent time in a hospital a few months back. She spoke with some cancer patients who shared how marijuana has helped them. She realized she couldn’t “turn a blind eye and stick my head in the sand and pretend like itâ€™s not happening.”
Edwards’ proposal would allow people to grow their own medical pot or have others grow it for them, and also regulate operations that cultivate medical marijuana.
Currently, there are 18 states and the District of Columbia that allow patients with qualifying conditions to use medical marijuana with physician recommendations. Even though Edwards and Clemens’ bills have a slim chance of passing, theyÂ and the rest of the medical marijuana proponents in Florida are still hoping they will eventually win this battle.