Florida Medical Association Endorses Medical Use of Marijuana

Wednesday, 04 June 1997

One of the nation's largest state medical associations favors the use of marijuana as a medicine and is urging the federal government to permit controlled clinical trials to further evaluate the drug's therapeutic potential.

The Florida Medical Association (FMA) passed resolution #97-61 on June 1, 1997, which pronounces the following:

  • The FMA urges the state and federal governments and the U.S. Public Health Service to allow limited access to medical marijuana.
  • The FMA urges Congress, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to expedite unimpeded research into the therapeutic potential of smokable marijuana.
  • The FMA shall present this resolution to the American Medical Association.

Dr. Mark LaPorta, Treasurer of the Dade County Medical Association, praised the FMA's decision to endorse the use of medical marijuana. "Thousands of patients and doctors have found that marijuana is therapeutically beneficial. It is unconscionable for our government to tell us we cannot even discuss marijuana in our offices," he explained.

Toni Leeman, President of the Florida-based Coalition Advocating Medical Marijuana (CAMM), said that the FMA resolution could be a pivotal first step legalizing marijuana for medical use in Florida. "We trust that by 1998 the patients in Florida will no longer have to suffer needlessly or risk incarceration" for using an effective medicine, she said. "With the support of the FMA, we are that much closer to rational legalization in Florida."

Florida case law already exempts some seriously ill patients who use marijuana as a medicine. For more information, please contact Toni Leeman of CAMM at (305) 576-2337 or Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation at (202) 483-8751.