In today’s society, diseases such as HIV/AIDS, ALS, cancer, and other debilitating disorders are feared by many, and overcome by few.  These conditions are often met with months to even years of pain and suffering for the afflicted, as well as their families.  Some ailments that are causally linked to many of these severe diseases include: nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, muscle tension and spasms, pain, and insomnia.  However, a new hope has arrived for the many suffering from these diseases and related symptoms; this new hope is the medical use of marijuana.


According to the American Cancer Society, compounds called “cannabinoids” may be extracted from the plant and used to treat the above-mentioned symptoms.  The most potent is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.  Medical marijuana is currently legal in California, and is used to help treat and control the devastating effects of society’s most dangerous diseases.  In fact, research shows that the medical use of marijuana is an effective option to relieve pain and other symptoms.  Despite the therapeutic qualities associated with marijuana, it is still illegal in many states throughout the U.S., which includes Florida as one of them.  However, this may be about to change.

Tallahassee Capital of Florida

Medical Marijuana in Florida

Back in February of this year, the Florida Legislature introduced two identical bills geared to legalizing medical marijuana treatment in Florida.  Senators Jeff Clemens and Joe Saunders are spearheading this effort.  The Florida Legislature is currently in session as of March 4, in order to decide the fate of Senate Bill 1250 and House Bill 1139.  If passed, these identical bills will legalize medical marijuana treatment by statutory implementation.  Additionally, a constitutional amendment on this issue will be on the ballot in November for public vote.  The Florida Supreme Court approved the language on the ballot, and will become law if 60% of the voters approve it.  The commencement of the March 4 session is the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel,” as this is the fourth year such a bill has been introduced in the Florida Legislature.  With the introduction of this bill into the Legislature, Florida joins a nationwide club consisting of states with pending legislation to legalize medical marijuana. These states include: 1) Florida, 2) Georgia, 3) Kansas, 4) Kentucky, 5) Maryland, 6) Minnesota, 7) Mississippi, 8) Missouri, 9) New York, 10) Ohio, 11) Pennsylvania, 12) Tennessee, 13) Utah, 14) West Virginia, and 15) Wisconsin.

Opposition to Medical Marijuana in Florida

Despite the apparent benefits of legalizing medical marijuana in Florida, there are still those who actively oppose the constitutional amendment.  Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, and other Republic legislative leaders staunchly oppose the medical marijuana amendment.

Senator Joe Saunders has stressed that this bill “represents the best course for implementing the constitutional amendment on this November’s ballot but also get’s help to those patients who simply can’t wait.”  If passed, the next obstacle will be for the 2015 Legislature to determine how the marijuana will be cultivated, how it will be dispensed and accessed by the patients, and finally implementing punishments for those who abuse it.




  3.  Senate Bill 1250