Florida Senator Jeff Clemens is currently working to create a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in the state. According to Clemens, the bill is currently in the drafting phase. He expects that it should be completed in the next few weeks.
In the past, other medical marijuana bills have been proposed and failed, but supporters believe that marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado has changed the political climate.
The potential bill is supported by the Florida Cannabis Action Network. Referring to medical marijuana in other states, FCAN president Jodi James explained, “They regulated it, they controlled it. The sky didn’t fall down and it makes more sense for public safety.”
“Marijuana is already here, cannabis is already here, now we get to make some tough decisions on how we are going to regulate it or control it, who we are going to let have access to it, and who shouldn’t have access to it, so we want to have that conversation I think this is the year,” James continued.
Others are not so open to participating in a dialogue about marijuana. DrugFree.org released a statement regarding medical marijuana, “In the interest of protecting kids, and based on the perspective of parents, we believe that adding marijuana to the menu of legally available substances and marketed products will make it more likely that kids will use it. The need for education, prevention and guidance toward effective treatment increases dramatically with legalized marijuana.”
Other groups, like the Centers for Drug Free Living in Orlando do not wish to take a stance on whether or not medical marijuana should be legalized in Florida, but they do believe it will lead to more people with drug problems coming to their centers.
Florida is a sensible setting for a medical marijuana program. While medical marijuana can benefit people of all ages, many elderly people tend to be afflicted with qualifying illnesses, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. Currently, people over the age of 60 in Florida account for almost a quarter of the state’s population.