« Sexual predator reforms gain momentum as legislators pass a flurry of bills | Main | 'Complete rewrite of Florida's charity laws' proposed by Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam »

Sen. Gaetz says he's 'studying' medical marijuana exception

Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, said he is "looking at" supporting legislation to decriminalize non-euphoric strains of medical marijuana but there is no Senate proposal yet to address it.

He noted, however, that his wife "had tears running down her cheeks" as she recalled the testimony at a hearing of the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee last week conducted by his son, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Shalimar. Parents told legislators how the strain is their last, best hope of treating their children who suffer from debilitating seizures and, if Florida doesn't legalize it, many will move to Colorado to get treatment.

Gaetz said he has not yet made up his mind on the issue but, when he knocked on doors in a heavily-Republican district in the Panhandle town of Shalimar on Saturday and half of the people wanted to talk about the issue and all of them who talked about it supported it, he concluded: "it's certainly compelling,'' he said.

Gaetz noted that he has been on the opposite side of issues opposed by doctors, hospitals and the insurance industry before, citing his experience 30 years ago building the state's first for-profit hospice company and working to get legislation passed that allowed for palliative care.

"There were many in the traditional health care community who said, 'that's outrageous; you can't do that' and now palliative care is an accepted form of treatment,'' he said. "So, even in my lifetime, I've seen changes that are rather substantial. So, let's put it this way, I'm studying the issue...and being pummeled by my son." 



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

ed jenkins

This senator should think hard about the damage he is considering doing to our family friendly society by introducing these dangerous addictive drugs. This hometown paper has greatly offended its citizens with the constant printing of drug propaganda such as this resulting in great number of subscriber losses.


Senator Gaetz should be applauded for his pragmatic and open-minded consideration of this narrowly focused proposal to provide medical relief to those people truly in need. Thank you to Mary Ellen Klaus for covering these issues and keeping them in the public spotlight.


The citizens are surprised and pleased with the apparent open mindedness of both of the Gaetz's. Marijuana is neither dangerous nor addictive. If the citizens are allowed to vote on its medical use many more people will benefit from its good properties.


Cant believe I voted for him. What gets me is the level of ignorance of Cannabis history these people have. They need to do there home work. Starting with Napoleon and the battle of waterloo to prevent Russian Marijuana/Hemp from the British Navy and merchants ships even the burning of the white house by the British was in retaliation for American burning Marijuana/Hemp Fields in Ontario. The cost of a marijuana/Hemp covered wagon was about $40 for the wagon and $400 for the Marijuana canvas it was that precious. The cost of wooden ships was a fraction of the cost of the marijuana ropes and sails. Even the word canvas came from the word cannabis. Marijuana/Hemp canvas and cordage was the energy of the past harnessing the wind around the world. These people need to do their home starting with Jack Herer the Emperor wears no clothes,Videos Rick Simpson Run from the Cure, The Union, should Grand Mom Smoke Pot. study Canadian Cannabis activist Marc and Jodie Emery, Marc is still serving a five year sentence for giving money to legalization groups. Marc gave $15,000 for medical marijuana in the beginning for Colorado. First off our Government has lied and have criminally colluded to block true science they are not honest brokers if you want real science on cannabis go to Israel.


I think its is time for a congressional investigation into a history of blocking legitimate research. When consider the La Guardia Committee and Nixon's own commissioned Shaffer report both with scientific evidence that Nixon refused and trashed in his vendetta against the counter culture CNN
On August 14, 1970, the Assistant Secretary of Health, Dr. Roger O. Egeberg wrote a letter recommending the plant, marijuana, be classified as a schedule 1 substance, and it has remained that way for nearly 45 years. My research started with a careful reading of that decades old letter. What I found was unsettling. Egeberg had carefully chosen his words:
"Since there is still a considerable void in our knowledge of the plant and effects of the active drug contained in it, our recommendation is that marijuana be retained within schedule 1 at least until the completion of certain studies now underway to resolve the issue."
Not because of sound science, but because of its absence, marijuana was classified as a schedule 1 substance. Again, the year was 1970. Egeberg mentions studies that are underway, but many were never completed. As my investigation continued, however, I realized Egeberg did in fact have important research already available to him, some of it from more than 25 years earlier


Let Florida Vote.. http://www.unitedforcare.org/sign_up?recruiter_id=2300


I have great news:

I believe we have collected the petitions we need to get on the ballot. Over 1.1 million in all.

This could not have happened without the amazing generosity of our thousands of donors - and in particular, our Chairman, John Morgan, who donated millions to this endeavor.

Literally thousands of volunteers contributed their time, collecting petitions in the rain and heat, on their weekends and holidays.

This is an enormous achievement - but even though we still await the ruling of the state Supreme Court, we need to get right back to work. We must shift this now into campaign mode - and help educate the millions of Florida voters who will hopefully be allowed to have a choice in November.


The People have spoken

The comments to this entry are closed.