Gov. Scott’s Signature Makes Medical Marijuana Officially Legal in Florida

Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a bill into law on June 24, 2017 officially making medical marijuana legal for patients with certain debilitating diseases. [1]

Ben Pollara, the executive director of Florida for Care, said:

“This is a good day for sick and suffering Floridians. The signing of this law provides a framework for the future of our state’s medical marijuana system and while it is far from perfect, it will begin providing access to patients.”

The legislation formalizes an amendment to the state constitution approved by 71% voters last fall that legalized medical marijuana, and establishes regulations for the new industry. [2]

Scott himself voted against the amendment and did not issue a statement upon signing the bill. He had earlier indicated that he would sign the legislation.

Under the bill, medical marijuana will be available with a doctor’s prescription to Florida residents with cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, or any other debilitating conditions.

In order to prescribe medical marijuana, doctors must first go through 2-hour training to become certified by the state. The state will set up a registry of eligible patients, which doctors must check before prescribing cannabis.

Seventeen growers have been licensed in Florida, and each license holder may have up to 25 dispensaries. The state will make another license available with each 100,000 new eligible patients added to the registry.

The bill also clears the way for 10 more medical marijuana treatment centers by October 3, 2017, which is the deadline for the rule to be enacted. There are already 7 treatment centers operating.

Medical marijuana products can be sold as edibles, vapes, sprays, and tinctures. Smoking marijuana is prohibited under the law. The law allows patients to receive an order of three 70-day supplies before having to be re-examined by a doctor.

The ban on smoking riles John Morgan, the Orlando trial lawyer who financed the constitutional amendment’s campaign, and he has promised to sue. Tampa strip club magnate Joe Rednerk has also promised to sue, but over patients not being allowed to grow their own plants. [3]

Morgan said June 23:

“Great Scott, it’s a no-brainer. Gov. Scott wants to run for U.S. Senate. If he didn’t sign this bill, he couldn’t run for dog catcher. It’s not perfect. I’m going to sue for the smoking but I know there are sick people who will see relief starting in July.”

Sources:

[1] Associated Press

[2] Orlando Sentinel

[3] Miami Herald


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Medical Marijuana for Treatment of PTSD Gets Green Light in Colorado

Medical marijuana is now a legal treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Colorado. Governor John Hickenlooper signed SB17-017 on June 5, 2017, officially giving doctors the green light to prescribe cannabis to patients suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Colorado joins at least 20 other states in allowing cannabis-based treatments for the disorder. [1]

Before doctors can prescribe cannabis for PTSD, patients must sit for a consultation and receive a medical background check. Patients approved for medical marijuana will be able to possess 2 ounces of cannabis and no more than 6 plants at a time, and only 3 of those plants can be mature and flowering. However, patients will be able to petition their doctor for more.

For patients under the age of 18, medical marijuana must be approved by 2 physicians, one of whom must be a board-certified pediatrician, a board-certified family doctor, or a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist. Additionally, the patient’s parents or guardians living in Colorado will have to consent in writing to the state health agency. [2]

Military PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

The State Board of Health rejected medical marijuana treatment for PTSD in 2015, saying at the time there was not enough scientific research on how marijuana could affect people with the disorder. It was at least the 4th time the board had rejected the measure. [1]

The state department of health has been studying cannabis treatments for PTSD since 2015, setting aside $3.3 million for the research.

Roger Martin, the founder of Grow For Vets, said:

“What it really does, is it doesn’t get rid of the bad memories that you have, but it kind of just allows you to relax to the point that they’re not right up in front of your head.

Thousands of veterans have told me to my face that cannabis is the only thing that’s ever helped them with PTSD and not one drug that the VA has given has ever helped at all.” [3]

Read: VA Head Comes out in Favor of Marijuana for Vets with PTSD

Dr. Larry Wolk, Executive Director of the Colorado Board of Health (which does not support the legislation) said that some doctors have already started recommending medical marijuana for treatment of PTSD.

“At least if a physician is recommending it, and a physician is involved through the medical marijuana program, then that would be presumably better care.”

This is another positive step we’re taking in allowing the population to further utilize a helpful, underrated medicine.

Sources:

[1] The Denver Channel

[2] Fox 31 Denver

[3] KRDO ABC 13


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