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.