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Especially for Patients

If you have recently discovered cannabis is an effective treatment for your disorder, there are some very basic things you should know before choosing cannabis therapeutics if you live in Florida.

The Florida CAN office receives calls regularly from patients who either recently discovered cannabis is being used to treat their chronic disorder or who were recently diagnosed. Patients in Florida have three options: move to a legal state in order to qualify for that program; forgo using cannabis therapies until the laws change; find an illegal supply and break the law.

All possession of cannabis is illegal in Florida. The penalties for cannabis vary depending upon amount, and the how patients are treated by law enforcement, prosecution and judges varies greatly from county to county.

Prior to the passage of Proposition 215 in California in 1996, Florida had the best protections in the country for patients using cannabis. The doctrine of Medical Necessity protects patients who meet a very tight standard. The elements of medical necessity are laid out here.

Under the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 cannabis low in THC and high in CBD’s will be made legally available to patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy, and muscle spasms. Patients can only receive non-smokable forms of cannabis from one of five licensed dispensing organizations. Read more about the CMCA of 2014.

According to Americans for Safe Access, if Amendment 2, the ballot initiative put forth by the People United for Medical Marijuana (United for Care), passes in November 2014, Florida patients will still be underserved.

Florida CAN Plan for Patients & Health Care Providers

A legal regulated market for cannabis puts patients first by assuring cannabis is available not as a last resort but a first option upon diagnosis. A legal market may allow people to cultivate personal amounts of cannabis, saving patients money. Sound regulation allows for more research into the effectiveness of cannabis therapies, which is always good for health care providers. Endorse the Plan

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Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act 2014

Governor Rick Scott signed the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 into law. The law required the Department of Health to create a patient registry and adopt rules to regulate dispensing organizations. Only patients with a qualifying medical condition are eligible for the program. 

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Doctor's Prescription vs. Doctor's Recommendation

In 1970 when Congress passed the federal Controlled Substance Act, the way doctors treated patients changed. Congress used the Controlled Substance Act to rate drugs based upon the harms associated with them. Each schedule has its own set of rules governing how the drug is dispensed and its use monitored. Only doctors with a DEA Schedule 1 licenses may prescribe cannabis. 

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There is No Reciprocity for Cannabis

Reciprocity (noun) - the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit, especially privileges granted by one country or organization to another.

If you are a patient registered in another state, your recommendation is not valid in Florida. Several states do offer reciprocity.

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The Facts: Medical Necessity Defense

Order Marijuana Medical Effects & Legal Consequences for your doctor or attorney.

Florida CAN president Cathy Jordan and husband Bob Jordan have been recognized by the Florida courts as having a valid medical necessity defense. If you are a patient in need, you can learn the ins-and-outs of the defense here or order this booklet with additional information. Remember: Until the law can offer protection to patients, the worst harm a patient can face is legal harm. Order your booklet and begin working with your attorney and medical doctor. View Table of Contents

Be Prepared - Order Your Booklet Today

Download 'Cannabinoids - How Your Body Is Built For Cannabis' Brochure

Endo-cannabinoid System tri-fold brochure from the Florida Cannabis Action Network

Florida CAN created this brochure on the endo-cannabinoid system to help you understand how your body processes cannabis. This very same brochure is used by the FLCAN Legislative Committee to educate lawmakers and made available for other state's initiatives. Contact FLCAN

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