You could say thereâ€™s budding interest in medical marijuana in Tallahassee. Or that the issue is taking root or that State Rep. Jeff Clemens is high on the idea. You could say that, but it would be wrong to.
Because while medical marijuana has become a punch line in places like California, where authorities struggle to keep fly-by-night operators from selling weed to anyone and everyone claiming the slightest pain or anxiety, it is a serious matter to Clemens.
The freshman Democrat from Lake Worth is sponsoring House Joint (no pun intended) Resolution 1407, which would establish the framework for medical marijuana in Florida.
â€œSeven people die from prescription pain medicine in Florida every day. No one ever died from using cannabis,â€ Clemens said.
â€œWhy is there this stigma about that one drug? People are suffering. If thereâ€™s a more natural way to ease that suffering, why wouldnâ€™t we do that? The truth is, there is no good reason.â€
If passed, HJR 1407 would put the question of medical marijuana to voters as an amendment to the state constitution.
Specifics about how the legal cannabis would be grown and sold would be worked out after the vote.
But the language of the bill stresses things like debilitating medical condition, a bona-fide doctor-patient relationship and a role for the primary caregiver in determining if a person would qualify for medical marijuana.
It is patterned after laws in Colorado and New Mexico, two of the more than one dozen states that have already approved medicinal use of cannabis in one form or another.