Two Democratic state lawmakers filed bills Monday to legalize medical marijuana in Florida. The measure is called the Cathy Jordan Cannabis Act, after a Florida woman who has lived with Lou Gehrig’s disease for the better part of thirty years.
If it passed, the bill would task Florida’s Department of Health and Department of Business and Professional Regulation with figuring out how to regulate and distribute the cannabis. Several patients who say they benefit from using medical marijuana joined the bill sponsors at a news conference at the Capitol.
Thirty-year-old Ryan Roman of Manatee County was diagnosed with brain cancer nearly a decade ago.
Roman says doctors told him he would die in 2010, but marijuana-based oil has kept him alive. He now has a two-year old daughter.
"We’re not here to harm anybody", Roman said. "We are simply here to gain a little bit of comfort, in that conventional medicine and other options currently available aren’t always the best options."
A medical marijuana constitutional amendment will appear on the November ballot. Its language was recently approved by the state supreme court.
60% of voters would have to support the amendment for it to pass. The sponsors say their bill would legalize the drug immediately, joining twenty other states in allowing medical marijuana.
This is the fourth straight year the bill has been filed in the legislature.