Florida is going from zero to sixty in its medical marijuana policies. While the state has been notoriously lame on its medical marijuana policies in the past, all that is looking to change in 2019.
One sweeping change being proposed to the state’s MMJ regulation comes from State Senator Gary Farmer (no relation to the beloved Canadian actor). Farmer wants to unburden Florida’s veteran of the $75 annual fee MMJ patients pay for medical marijuana access.
The lawmaker argues that the extra fee might put off veterans who could benefit from medical cannabis and put them instead on other, potentially more harmful, medications such as opioids. It also makes a good bit of sense since patients don’t have to pay a yearly fee expressly for the convenience of other prescription medications.
As reported by Orlando Weekly, Farmer doesn’t believe that anyone “should have to pay for the right for the eligibility to get legal medical treatment,” he thinks that the fee is especially unfair to veterans. Since the state’s Department of Veteran Affairs strives to offset other medical costs, why shouldn’t it help where medical marijuana is concerned?
For veterans, the yearly fee comes on top of other costs including payments for the medicine and doctor appointments.
“So many of our veterans are just struggling so much and I think many of them, frankly, aren’t even aware that this alternative treatment is there,” Farmer said.
Meanwhile, Florida’s newly minted Governor Ron DeSantis is insisting on another bold change to the state’s MMJ policies. Currently, state law does not allow for medical use of cannabis flower. While that regulation was deemed unconstitutional, some conservatives in the state have since challenged the ruling. DeSantis has given lawmakers the deadline of March 15 to abolish the ban on cannabis flower. After that, he says he’ll put the kibosh on the conservative challenge.
So, soon Florida MMJ patients will be able to smoke weed. And veterans might even be able to do it at a discount.
Photo via Flickr user From Sovereign to Serf