More than 70 percent of Floridians voted on Election Day in favor of Amendment 2 to regulate patients’ access to medical marijuana. However, newly proposed rules by the Department of Health seek to significantly amend this measure in a manner that undermines the law’s intent and is contrary to patients’ needs.
This week, town hall meetings are being held throughout Florida to discuss proposed rule changes and so far, turnout to these meetings have been so large that WTSP in Tampa Bay reported “The meeting was so full that there wasn’t even enough room for people to stand.”
For example, the rules arbitrarily limit those patients who may qualify for cannabis therapy only to those diagnosed with one of ten specific conditions. This change contradicts the explicit language of Amendment 2, which provides physicians the discretion to recommend medical marijuana in any instance where they believe that its use “would likely outweigh the potential health risks.”
NORML has submitted official comments to the state’s Dept. of Health addressing the need to address the following issues:
- Physicians Must Be Permitted To Recommend Cannabis Therapy For Chronic Pain
- Patients Should Have The Legal Option To Obtain Whole-Plant Cannabis
- Market Demand Requires More Licensed Dispensaries
- Do Not Mandate Multiple Patient Visits In A Single Calendar Year
It is unfortunate that after the passage of Amendment 2, so many attempts would be made to weaken the ability for patients to be able to obtain access to medical marijuana. If regulators truly intend to implement Amendment 2 in a manner that is in the best interest of Florida’s patient community, then they must revise these rules in ways that focus on serving the sick, not promoting political expediency.
There is still time to submit comments to the FL Department of Health online. For more information and to find out how, click here.