Medical Marijuana Resolution Filed in Florida House to Let Voters Decide the Need for Weed

An amendment to the Florida Constitution to legalize medical marijuana may be proposed on 2012 voter ballots, if one House Democrat gets his way. Rep. Jeff Clemens of Lake Worth has submitted House Joint Resolution 353, which would put a medical-marijuana amendment up to the consideration of state voters next year. The problem is that both the Senate and the House have to pass the resolution by a three-fifths margin for the amendment to make it to the ballot. Still, the amendment would take effect on July 1, 2013, if the issue were passed by the voters, and Clemens’ eight-page resolution gets into some of the details of how Florida’s medical-marijuana program would work.

The resolution’s language states that a medical-marijuana patient must have been diagnosed with a “debilitating medical condition” by two doctors and can’t have more weed than “legislatively presumed to be medically necessary.” A patient can’t affect another person’s health or well-being with their weed-smoking, patients wouldn’t be able to smoke in public places, workplaces don’t have to accommodate an employee’s medical-marijuana use, and patients must be at least 18 years old to participate unless their parents give consent. The resolution also comes with rights afforded to the patient, doctors, and caregivers.

Patients with children won’t have their kids taken away just for using medical marijuana unless their “behavior creates an unreasonable danger” to the youngsters. No caregiver could face arrest, prosecution, penalty, or disciplinary action from any professional licensing board for assisting with a patient’s use of medical marijuana. If state or local law enforcement confiscates the medical weed in the event of an arrest, the resolution calls for the cannabis to be kept safe and never destroyed and must be returned “immediately” if the person isn’t prosecuted, the charges are dismissed, or the person is acquitted of the charges.

Aside from the resolution likely having a tough time from the Republican-controlled Legislature, medical marijuana has also been more of an issue with the feds as of late, who have ordered several California cannabis dispensaries to shut down and have threatened to go after newspapers that run advertisements for dispensaries.

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