Medical marijuana's unlikely Florida hero is 64-year-old Larcenia Bullard

If you had told Larcenia Bullard 35 years ago — back when she was teaching school kids for a living — she would one day use her lofty platform as a Florida state senator to advocate for marijuana reform, she would have banished you to the principal's office.

"I would not have possibly imagined that to be true," Bullard says, laughing. "It was not an issue I'd given two thoughts to before."

Yet today Bullard, a 64-year-old who spent last year toting an oxygen cart around Tallahassee because of heart problems, has become the unlikely hero of the Sunshine State's budding cannabis movement. When she sponsored a bill last week that would give voters a chance to legalize medical marijuana — bringing pot reform bills to both the Senate and House for the first time in three decades — her phone started blowing up.

"I've been shocked at the number of people calling and promising to come to the capitol to talk about how medical cannabis has helped them," Bullard says.

The elderly politician's late-career move toward pot activism was sparked by her mother's death and her own serious illness. Bullard, first elected to represent South Dade and Monroe in the Senate in 2002 after a decade in the House, watched her mom deteriorate from Alzheimer's disease until her death last May.

As Bullard recovered from her own bout of heart disease at home, she began reading studies about marijuana's benefits to those with Alzheimer's.

"For patients like my mother, whose only options are medicines with intolerable side effects or diseases which take away their ability to live, cannabis can really help," she says.

The more she read about the ten other states that have legalized medical pot, the more she believed the move could also help cure Florida's $2 billion budget gap.

With Tallahassee gripped by an ugly redistricting fight and Republicans leery of all things hemp, Bullard realizes getting traction on marijuana reform won't be easy.

"At least I can open the door to a discussion," she says. "I'm going to support this as long as I'm in office."

 
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8 comments
William
William

Last winter I went to the ER with the worst pain I've ever had on the left side of my head. They told me at the ER that it was trigeminal neuralgia (the suicide disease) and they gave me some tegretol. Well I came home and looked up the side effects of using the medication and decided it was not worth the risk.( Possible fatal skin or blood disease ). I also went to the VA hospital ER and they gave me Gabaopentin. It had similar side effects. both were anti-seizure meds. So I just suffered with it all winter. I went back to Michigan for the summer and a friend told me that marijuana was also a anti-seizure med so I tried it and it worked, I also did not have any side effects. So I got legal. Now I'm back in Fl for the winter and my symptoms are returning. Could'nt bring my meds here. Can't wait to go back to MI...

Toddbox1
Toddbox1

Legalize it and stop all the death from the POISON the pill companies sell through their lobbyists by having contrl of our government. I have seen too many people die from these legal pain killers. One was a prison Guard my brother-in-law a very conservative person. Now he is gone. His daughter found him dead of Oxcycontin on Fathers Day. How many more before all this stops? He was not a junkie if he were he probably would have known how dangerous those pills were. Pure POISON and our government allows them to be sold . I see no difference between these "legal" drugs and the people that manufacture and sell them than a crack or meth dealer on the street corner. Actuall the "legal" manufacturers and sellers kill more people.

TrueAmerican
TrueAmerican

Fuck this bitch! She's a dope addict and a criminal. Pot has no legitimate use whatsover, except to make people stupid, like her!

David Tominus
David Tominus

It should be legalized , A much better pain remedy then Blue`s (roxy`s ) Its a plant , Not synthetic , Yes to medical marijuana , Amsterdam has the lowest crime rate in the world , Florida has the worst pill issue in the country , So legalize it , It`s about time......

Polly
Polly

The STD counselor on a Herpes support site stdster.,. c0m said herpes doesn't live outside the body for long..and you can not catch it from inanimate objects in a VERY RARE case if someone with herpes uses a towel after the shower and rubs enough of the "virus" off and someone uses it immediately after there is a VERY slim chance of them getting is since the towel is still damp.. but that would be a very rare occurrence.Don't upset by Herpes. 1 in 4 get STD in USA. Most of people on ==== " stdster ,.. c0m" ===== said it is just a minor virus. And they can deal with it during their se life. I am curious to know the details.

Eva27warrior
Eva27warrior

I support 100%. Stand up for what is right...

Krsarich
Krsarich

Says the uneducated "true American"

 
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