4
| Drugs |

Republican State Senator Files Medical Marijuana Bill

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Medical marijuana supporters in Florida tried their hand at the ballot last year and fell just short, but perhaps they might find success in the Florida Legislature.

St. Petersburg Sen. Jeff Brandes, a Republican (!), has filed a bill that would legalize marijuana in Florida as a treatment option for those with serious ailments and others who have exhausted more traditional treatments.

See also: Medical Marijuana Supporters Take First Step to Getting Amendment Back on Ballot in 2016

The move comes after Amendment 2 failed to pass by less than 2.5 percent in November amid fears from some that the wording was too vague and that the issue should be handled by lawmakers instead.

While the state legislature is strongly controlled by Republicans, it appears that some in the GOP are ready to move on the issue.

Brandes' bill spells out the conditions for which doctors could prescribe marijuana: cancer, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, and cachexia. Those with severe and persistent pain, nausea, seizures, or muscle spasms would also be covered regardless of the cause. However, such patients would have to try other treatments before resorting to medical marijuana.

The bill also gives the Department of Health a lot of leeway to decide on the specifics but does include language that would keep medical marijuana away from schools and place restrictions on designated caregivers. The bill also spells out specifics for dispensaries, which would have to pay $10,000 for a license.

Brandes and some fellow Republicans may see the writing on the wall as mega-lawyer John Morgan has promised to put another amendment on the ballot in 2016. However, it's unclear if the bill would have enough support in the legislature and, if it passed, how Gov. Rick Scott would react.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.