Huge Crowds Gathering Across Florida for Marijuana

Massive crowds who showed up to make sure the will of the people is done in Tallahassee overwhelmed state officials this week. Crammed public hearings across the state called to seek comment on the proposed rules under Amendment 2 gave voice to the people – and those voices were overwhelmingly critical.

New medical marijuana regulations proposed by state health officials would block patients from timely and affordable access to medication, restrict physicians in treating their patients, and potentially undercut the development and distribution of quality medicine, an overflow crowd told Florida Department of Health officials Tuesday morning in Fort Lauderdale. This sentiment was echoed Wednesday morning in Tampa.

Florida Cannabis Coalition founder Tom Quigley addressed the Tampa hearing Wednesday morning, "To supply the half-a-million patients that will qualify under amendment 2 growers will need to produce 66,000 pounds of cannabis per month. An open market is the only way to meet that demand."

Anyone who misses these hearings can still submit comments online at www.floridahealth.gov.

Christian Bax, director of Florida’s Office of Compassionate Use, which oversees Florida’s medical marijuana program, stressed it’s possible that the guidelines issued in January will be mostly preempted by bills currently moving through the legislative process in Tallahassee.

A number of speakers in the audience urged the state to adopt regulations that mirror a bill proposed by Sen. Jeff Brandes, who wants to legalize smoking marijuana flower and open up the marijuana industry to competition.

Other points included:

Do away with the 3 month waiting period. Sick and dying people should not have to wait 3 months to access a medical treatment option. We don't even put this type of limit on administering medication to our animals, why would we for our humans?

Administering medications in public places. There are times when people need medicine in public. Example: A mom and child are on a bus, the child has a seizure, do we want to make that mother a criminal for giving her child the medicine necessary to stop their child’s seizures?

Reciprocity. Medical cannabis patients from other States should be able to use their medicine while in Florida. Florida relies on tourism and is a second home to many from other States, we want to welcome travelers and “snowbirds” to Florida, they stimulate our economy, not make them choose other travel and 2nd home destinations.

The next hearing is scheduled

February 8  (Wed) 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.       Orange County Health Department 6102 Lake Ellenor Drive Orlando, FL 32809 February 9 (Thurs) 4:00 p,m, – 6:00 p.m.      Betty Easley Conference Center 4075 Esplanade Way, Room 148 Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0850

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