The battle over medical marijuana in Florida is expected to intensify this summer. An effort to legalize pot for medical uses is getting a large infusion of cash from a prominent attorney in Orlando. Right now medical marijuana users risk going to jail in Florida. But some say it’s worth it. Robert Jordan, husband of marijuana user said, “We know it’s an uphill battle, but it’s a battle worth fighting.” Jordan said marijuana saved his wife’s life.
Cathy Jordan has Lou Gehrig’s disease. In 1991, her doctor gave her three years to live. Both she and her husband believe she’s passed that estimate by more than two decades because she smokes weed. Jordan said, “If you take the cannabis out of the picture she gets sick. You put it back in a picture she starts getting better again.”
The Jordans lobbied for a medical marijuana bill that failed to get a hearing during the state’s last legislative session. But the movement they support has recently received a big shot in the arm. John Morgan is a high-profile Orlando attorney. He’s said he’s willing to spend up to $3million of his own money on a petition drive to get the issue onto the November 2014 ballot. It will need to collect nearly 700,000 signatures to succeed.
A recent poll shows 70 percent of Floridians support medical marijuana. Voter Kim Warner said, “We should definitely go for it.” We talked with voters on both sides of the issue. “It could be used for a lot of purposes, especially with pain management. People with stomach issues,” said Warner. Voter Darlene Larner said, “The marijuana is gonna be a loaded gun…It’s a drug. People use it for aphrodisiac and everything else and it’s mind-altering.” Groups opposed to medical marijuana say in other states where it’s legal, it’s a sham, with many patients making false claims about medical conditions just to get high. One group is pledging to challenge a possible ballot initiative in court. If the petition drive succeeds, the amendment will need approval from 60 percent of Florida’s voters to pass.
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