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STEVE ELLIOTT

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Activists in Florida, buoyed by the legalization of cannabis for medicinal uses in 18 states across the country, are pushing for medical marijuana in the Sunshine State.

Florida Cannabis Action Network president Jodi James said she’s an advocate for “sensible cannabis policy,” reports Margaret Kavanagh at News 13.

Jodi James, Florida Cannabis Action Network: "Quote"
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Jodi James, Florida Cannabis Action Network:
“What’s happening right now is that people who truly need access to the medicine don’t have it”

“What’s happening right now is that people who truly need access to the medicine don’t have it,” James said. She said that Florida should legalize medical marijuana, just like other states.

“They regulated it; they controlled it,” she said. “The sky didn’t fall down and it makes more sense for public safety.”

Jeff Clemens (D-Palm Beach County) is at work to create a bill to do exactly that — bring safe medical marijuana access to seriously ill patients in Florida. Clemens said his bill is currently in the drafting phase, and should be completed within the next few weeks.

Other bills have failed in the past, but supporters say the 18 states that have legalized medical marijuana, plus Colorado and Washington legalizing for all adults, mean the time is right.

Meanwhile, you have regressive, weed-phobic, Reefer Madness-style organizations like the Center for Drug Free Living, based in Orlando, that just can’t let go of the “good old days” of the War on Marijuana.

“The easier to get it, the more likely it will probably be used and the more it’s used the more addiction and abuse you are going to see out of it,” said Todd Dixon of the Center For Drug Free Living, displaying a majestic cluelessness.

Florida State Senator Jeff Clemens (D-Palm Beach County) is drafting the medical marijuana bill
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Florida State Senator Jeff Clemens (D-Palm Beach County) is drafting the medical marijuana bill

“Smoking in general, whether it’s marijuana or tobacco, has a whole host of negative health side effects,” Dixon claimed.

“In the interest of protecting kids, and based on the perspective of parents, we believe that adding marijuana to the menu of legally available substances and marketed products will make it more likely that kids will use it,” the group claimed in a statement to 13 News.

But it’s no use pretending cannabis isn’t already available to anyone who wants it, according to James.

“Marijuana is already here, cannabis is already here; now we get to make some tough decisions on how we are going to regulate it or control it, who we are going to let have access to it, and who shouldn’t have access to it, so we want to have that conversation,” James said.

“I think this is the year.”

 

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