Editorial: Making progress on medical marijuana

February 9th, 2019 by admin Leave a reply »

Medical marijuana is finally gaining real traction in Florida. Gov. Ron DeSantis has made clear he wants lawmakers to pass a bill allowing smoking, the state has its first “pot czar,” and a judge has again struck down a limit on storefronts that can sell medical marijuana. While some in Tallahassee keep trying to pump the brakes, Floridians are ready for a well-regulated, robust and accessible medical marijuana market.

DeSantis made the first move in January when he set a deadline of mid-March for the Legislature to send him a bill ending the ban on smokable forms of marijuana for medicinal use. If they don’t, he said, he’ll drop the state’s appeal of a lawsuit challenging the ban. That may well be the most expedient course, given the perplexing attitudes about medical pot held by some state senators. After Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, introduced a straightforward repeal bill, it got polluted by an unnecessary amendment that forces doctors to explain the risks associated with smoking and allows non-terminal patients to smoke only if two doctors say it’s the only good means of administering the drug. Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Jacksonville, called marijuana a “very dangerous substance” and drew an ominous link to the opioid crisis. Those remarks are irresponsible and untrue: Medical marijuana is not dangerous — in fact, it offers a safe alternative to the highly addictive opioids that are killing thousands of Floridians a year.

On Wednesday, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried appointed Florida’s first director of cannabis, who will

Article source: https://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-making-progress-on-medical-marijuana-20190209/