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Advocacy group petitions Bondi to end ban on medicinal marijuana

From the Florida Current:

An organization advocating medicinal use of marijuana asked Attorney General Pam Bondito take pot off the blacklist of totally banned drugs with no medicinal value Tuesday, so the Legislature can set rules for its therapeutic use by patients with painful or crippling afflictions.

"This is a life and death situation for me, and I do have a right to life," Catherine Jordan, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, said from her wheelchair at a news conference in the Florida Press Center. Jordan, president of the Florida Cannabis Action Network, said marijuana has kept her alive more than 20 years -- so long that the Social Security Administration once declared she had outlived her eligibility for benefits, and made her come to an office to prove she was still alive.

She said doctors have attested to the drug's value for her, but that she still can't get it legally in Florida.

"My goal has always been not to be a criminal," she said. "Florida has a medical necessity defense but I had to be arrested to use it."

Jodi James, executive director of the Melbourne-based network, displayed a metal canister she said the federal government uses to send medically approved marijuana to Irvin Rosenfeld, a Broward County man with a rare bone tumor disorder. Next week, he will mark his 30th year receiving pot under a prescription for smoking 10 to 12 joints per day.

Read more here.

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John N Florida

State of Florida v. Musikka

A middle-aged woman afflicted with glaucoma was arrested for growing six marijuana plants. At trial, Musikka, who had already lost sight in one eye as a result of failed surgical interventions, argued her use of marijuana was a "medical necessity." Musikka's treating physician, a noted ophthalmic researcher at Miami's famous Bascom-Palmer Eye Institute testified that "if marijuana were legal I would have prescribed it for Elvy Musikka's medical use in the treatment of glaucoma." He further testified that, without marijuana, Musikka would go blind.

The Court, after hearing from other medical experts, concluded Musikka's use of marijuana was protected by the Common Law defense of "medical necessity" and found Ms. Musikka not guilty. In reaching this verdict, Judge Mark E. Pollin wrote:

This is an intolerable, untenable legal situation. Unless legislators and regulators heed these urgent human needs and rapidly move to correct the anomaly arising from the absolute prohibition of marijuana which forces law abiding citizens into the streets - and criminality - to meet their legitimate medical needs, cases of this type will become increasingly common in coming years. There is a pressing need for a more compassionate, humane law which clearly discriminates between the criminal conduct of those who socially abuse chemicals and the legitimate medical needs of seriously ill patients whose welfare and very lives may depend on the prudent therapeutic use of those very same chemical substances.

68 Florida v. Musikka, 17th Judicial Circuit, Broward County Florida, Case No. 68 4395 CFA 10, The Florida Law Weekly, 14 FL W 1 (January 27, 1989).

State of Florida v. Kenneth & Barbra Jenks

Kenny Jenks, a hemophilic, and his wife, Barbra, were arrested in March, 1990 for growing two marijuana plants. They were charged with three felony counts. At trial, however, the young couple revealed they both were infected by the deadly AIDS virus, and argued that their use of marijuana was "medically necessary" to control the nausea, vomiting and rapid weight loss caused by advanced HIV-infection. The local court refused to heed medical testimony from their treating physician and other experts and they were convicted on all three felony charges.

In April, 1991, the Florida Court of Appeals reversed the lower court, overturned the young couple's criminal conviction and ruled their use of marijuana was a "medical necessity" in the treatment of AIDS. In October, 1991 the Florida Supreme Court upheld the Appeals Court's verdict and ordered the prosecutor to file no further appeals in the landmark case.

WISEMAN

THIS HAS BEEN A BLESSING IN MY CASE OF HEP C WHICH I GOT WHILE WORKING IN HEATH CARE,INTERFERON NOT AN OPTION FOR MY CASE,AND LIVER CANT PROCESS MEDICATION VERY WELL ,I BODERLINING LIVER CANCER SO I DONT WANT ANY PILLS THERE ARE 7 MORE STATES LEGALIZING IF I COULD SELL MY PROPERTY IN FLORIDA I WOULDVE MOVED LEGALIZE PLEASE FOR US IN NEED THANKS :)

Phillip Dodge

Both the national and regional viewpoint on medical marijuana has been changing. If you saw the latest Intelligence Squared debate on PBS you see that former DEA head Asa Hutchinson clearly lost to Reason editor Nick Gillespie among a neutral audience indicated an overwheming agreement to legalize. In Florida, former die hard Republican Roger Stone has placed heavy emphasis on legalization in his potential gubernatorial run. Among other qualities, Stone is a veteran pollster and can smell the change in the wind. With heavyweights like John Morgan in favor of legalization, too, one senses that the passage of medical marijuana legalization is a slamdunk in 2014.

Burtnbrown81

Marijuana should be legal everywhere - not only does it serve a medicinal purpose - it was legal in the US for 200 years and we used to be able to pay our taxes with it. Florida needs to put politicians in office that will legalize marijuana and us the revenue to enhance the economic climate. If Rick Scott were smart he support Medicinal Marijuana. It is safe than the POISON being peddled by the Pill Mills- Big Pharma.

Maxine DuPont

Roger Stone is the only (potential) gubernatorial candidate who supports the legalization of medicinal marijuana. Stone’s support of medicinal marijuana is a smart move. It will force the other candidates to include it in public debates. Rick Scott would be wise to declare his support of medical pot. I've been a registered Republican for about 30 years and I support the legalization of pot for medical needs. It makes sense. It’s a lot safer than narcotic pain killers.

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