TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Department of Health is proposing rule
changes to the medical-marijuana law in the state.
The purpose of the new Amendment 2 medical-marijuana law — which
passed with more than 70 percent of the vote — was to allow the
drug to be provided to individuals suffering from debilitating
diseases that were not covered under previous laws in the state. But
as the Sun-Sentinel reported,
a proposed rule would require that the state Board of Medicine make
the decision on if a person needs the drug, instead of the patient’s
Michael Minardi, an attorney and a member of the National
Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, is advocating that
government stay out of the way of concerns between patients and their
doctors. He does not believe it is going to be a successful program
in the long run.
“They have created a monopoly in the state with seven entities
controlling the entire market,” Minardi told the Florida Record.
“This prevents competition in the marketplace, which results in
lower-quality products, higher prices and less availability, and
there is no real choice for patients for products. They also do their
own testing and quality control, providing no guarantees patients are
getting safe, quality medication.”
Minardi said any law that prevents the decision to use medical
marijuana between the doctor and the patients does not go with the
original intent of the voters or Amendment 2.
“In many of the bills currently introduced, they require doctors
to go above and beyond in documenting the illness and reason for
recommendations for patients,” Minardi said. “They are keeping
the black market alive by creating so many bars and so little choices
for doctors and patients.”
Minardi, a supporter and advocate of the legalization of medical
and recreational marijuana, plans on continuing to educate the
government entities. If nothing is initially done, after nine months
the amendment allows a lawsuit to be filed to enforce the amendment,
according to Minardi.
“The only solutions would be to continue to educate the
Legislature, continue to show up at hearings, file lawsuits, and get
everyone to support Regulate Florida and adult use,” he said. “The
best way to fight against the monopolies and Legislature is to pass
Regulate Florida so people can grow their own and use cannabis the
way they want to and there is nothing the Legislature can do to stop
them. The Legislature is now afraid of the power of the people, and
that is why they are trying to increase the voting requirements to 67
Minardi believes there needs to be a complete overhaul of the
medical and recreational marijuana business not only in the state of
Florida, but also nationwide.
“The current system is going to continue to make criminals out
of patients and continue to put money into prisons instead of turning
it into profits,” he said.