Florida’s Medical Marijuana Bill heads to Full House

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on May 01, 2017.

The Florida House of Representatives bill that aims to implement the state’s medical marijuana constitutional amendment has been passed by its final committee on late Monday afternoon. The bill now heads to the Florida House floor for approval.

The House Committee on Health and Human Services passed the proposal, HB 1397, sponsored by Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, by a vote of 14-4.

The measure would create many limitations on medical marijuana across the state. The patients would also be barred from buying more than a 90-day supply of marijuana, edibles would be off-limits and “vaping” would only be allowed for terminal patients.

“The goal was to have a reconciliation between the House medical marijuana implementing bill and the Senate medical marijuana implementing bill and present it at this committee,” said the House bill’s sponsor, Ray Rodrigues.

The Amendment 2 was overwhelmingly approved by voters in last November. It has been criticized by patients and advocates for being far too rigid to provide relief to so many suffering Floridians.

Supporters of the amendment object that the House bill is too restrictive, in part because it would rely too heavily on a 2014 law that legalized non-euphoric marijuana for patients with chronic muscle spasms, epilepsy or cancer.

Meanwhile, supporters of the measure want to see the marijuana regulation to be implemented in a tightly restricted but responsible manner where would be treated like a medicine rather than a recreational drug.

However, the critics of Rodrigues’ proposal consider that the measure continues to distance itself from the Senate bill, SB 406, which they see as a much more amenable way to implement medical marijuana in Florida.

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