Medical Pot Sponsor: Chances Are Slim, But Ballot Push Coming

April 2, 2013

The sponsor of a bill that would legalize the use of marijuana in Florida for medical purposes said Monday that it has almost no chance of passing, but backers will likely push a constitutional amendment that would put the question up to voters.

Rep. Katie Edwards put the measure’s chances of getting through the Legislature at “slim to none.” She said she didn’t support the idea at one time, but then she met patients with debilitating pain.

“If you had asked me about six months ago when we were campaigning, if I would have filed this bill, I would have said, ‘Absolutely not,’ ” said Edwards, D-Plantation. “Then I got sick myself and in the hospital (began) talking with … cancer patients and people who themselves were very sick.”

Joining Edwards at a news conference on the issue Monday at the Capitol was Cathy Jordan, who has Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The Manatee County woman, for whom the bill is named, believes using marijuana has kept her alive. Jordan has been an activist for legalization of marijuana for medical use.

In February, her home was raided by police, who confiscated 23 marijuana plants, though Jordan and her husband weren’t arrested. Eighteen other states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana use for certain people, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Pictured top: Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation, (left) talks about the proposed legislation to legalize medical marijuana Monday in Tallahassee. Next to her is Cathy Jordan, a woman with ALS who has advocated for the legalization of medical marijuana and for whom the bill is named. Photo by NSF for, click to enlarge.

By The News Service of Florida


14 Responses to “Medical Pot Sponsor: Chances Are Slim, But Ballot Push Coming”

  1. David Huie Green on April 4th, 2013 8:06 am

    We like to pretend most inmates are incarcerated for nonviolent personal drug use.

    Such is NOT the case.

    David for reality

  2. melodies4us on April 3rd, 2013 6:52 pm

    You preach it Old Man!

  3. OldMan on April 3rd, 2013 2:15 pm

    Wow Kay,

    Congratulation’s on realizing what should be done.

    Will you give an opinion how many LEO’s think like you do? It’s past time to empty the prison’s of those who got caught with a sack and let’s make some room for those who REALLY break the law and Should be locked up. I saw on the newsrecently that It cost’s 54,000 a year to keep someone locked up these day’s and sadly for the most part they are probably non-violent crimes.

    Like I’ve always said, If I had my choice I’d rather be oncoming against a pothead than a Drunk driver which will run you over while the pot smoker is usually driving too slow.

    What Gives, Wake Up America

  4. stoney on April 3rd, 2013 8:39 am

    They need to pass it, it would help boost the economy! It is a very useful plant that not only has medicinal qualities that we could take advantage of but it also has physical property’s that we could use… such as paper and rope! It’s a natural plant that grows wild all over the earth, it’s time to go green.

  5. Kay on April 3rd, 2013 7:27 am

    As a retired LEO I spent 20 years on the street most LEO would agree : dealing with a person high on marijuana is a lot better than dealing with a person high on pills, cocaine, alcoho.your so called SLACKERS use marijuana for problems with anxiety, sleep disorders,pain…also.You need to subscribe to NORML, educate youdelf on the studies of the affects of marijuana.See if you can find where a person smoked marijuana and needed more so they went out and robbed a store . People PILLS! and AlCOHOL! Are and doctors who give them out freely are the problems in escambia county. Look at the website L.E.A.P. Consider that 18 states have already legalized it. The sick people need and should be untitled to their choice of medication

  6. OldMan on April 3rd, 2013 6:37 am

    Like Everything in our Democracy – Put It To A Vote

    Too Many Laws Made For The Majority, By The Minority and It’s Getting Very Old

    Enuff Said

  7. huh on April 3rd, 2013 12:56 am

    They should pass it, let people have a personal choice what types of medicine to use. None of these politicians have had cancer and dealt with the sickness and problems caused by the treatments

    We need people in politics that can put themselves in someone elses shoes and think for a moment what if you were them? What if you were the one sick?

  8. Brockton on April 2nd, 2013 10:05 pm

    I wonder how much money is spent daily in Pensacola alone on marijuana that could be diverted from the black market and into the hands of nurses, doctors and businesses? What about the police/prison resources wasted on arresting non-violent drug offenders? If it comes to a vote, make sure you take money out of the hands of criminals and mega-corporations and put it back in the pockets of local farmers and doctors.

    …and Fred, as a former Californian, I can tell you it’s not the slackers who visit the marijuana dispensaries. As with any good/service, the medical marijuana costs money and must be prescribed by a physician–i.e., working people support the business model, not slackers.

    California’s medical marijuana system is much better than the so-called pill mills we have here. Even if any ol’ dude off the street can walk in and get some pot, is our current model for alcohol sales any better? Be honest. In addition, tens of thousands of people die (i.e., OD) yearly and even more get hooked on big pharma’s little “legal” pills. What good do they do us? Temporary relief, but long-term destruction. The same goes for the plethora of liquor and tobacco stores peddling substances PROVEN to be harmful carcinogens, destructive to bodies and minds.

  9. No Excuses on April 2nd, 2013 3:43 pm

    I agree with fred – too much room for abuse. Like anything else, the ones who don’t really need it will fabricate a reason to use it so that they can “legally’ have it. Regardless of what the state says, unless the feds legalize it, you can still be arrested for using it if they get involved. Personally, I have no issue with folks who are really ill using it (legally).

  10. fred on April 2nd, 2013 2:30 pm

    We need the unattainable, an honest person who puts the people’s business and interests ahead of his or her own; someone not owned or beholden to outside interests; someone who will do the right thing when it’s not the politically expedient thing, knowing that honest people will see the virtues in it. Someone whose party affiliation does not define them, but formulates public policy with the best interests of all in mind.

    Now, to the topic of this article – medical marijuana is widely believed to alleviate pain and suffering among patients with severe illnesses. The trouble I have seen is exemplified in California, where every slacker who wants to get high has a medical marijuana card and gets scripts for it from the local pill mill “pain clinic”.

  11. Bob Hudsun on April 2nd, 2013 12:19 pm

    Sure , seems our liberal president has done a fine job on destroying this country, we sure do not need a liberal to run Florida, We need a liberal like we need a hurricane .

  12. April on April 2nd, 2013 12:13 pm

    I think we should vote on it. The people should decide.

  13. Fighting GOP Fascism on April 2nd, 2013 10:47 am

    Governor Scott’s campaign will be running for re-election with a referendum for Medical Marijuana on the ballot. Good luck there Scott, Your going to have one heck of a run for office. It would be nice to see some liberal democrats in office here in Florida. This states has been held back for to long, let’s get big PHARMA out of our lives. How do we live in a free state where you can not practice homeopathic medicine and if you do you’ll be arrested, but allopathic medicine is pushed in our faces and can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

  14. 429SCJ on April 2nd, 2013 6:56 am

    Miz Jordan just say no vote to politicians, who cave to the directives of the Pharmaceutical Lobby.

    Though it be early in the day, I think I am going to get up and exercise my free will in solidarity with you.

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