Florida Constitution Medical Marijuana Amendment

Posted on December 09, 2013 by Jeffrey Feiler

United for Care, a Florida non-profit organization, is leading the effort to introduce voters to an Amendment to the Florida Constitution legalizing medical marijuana. The Amendment will remove criminal and civil liabilities to licensed physicians, qualifying patients, and their caregivers.

Medical marijuana would be available to patients with debilitating conditions, such as Cancer, Glaucoma, HIV, ALS, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and any other condition the treatment of which would benefit from use of medical marijuana according to an opinion of a licensed physician.

The Amendment will not affect laws relating to the use, possession, production or sale of recreational marijuana. It will also not allow a qualifying patient to operate a motor vehicle, boat, or aircraft while under the influence of marijuana.

The Florida Department of Health will be tasked with creating reasonable regulations to implement this Amendment. The DoH's regulations will ensure that Florida's medical marijuana is available and safe to consume. The regulations are to be promulgated no later than six (6) months following the effective date of the Amendment.

Among its responsibilities, the Department of Health will create procedures to issue identification cards to qualifying patients and caregivers. The DoH will also create regulations for Marijuana Treatment Centers, including procedures for registration, and standards to ensure adequate security, proper record keeping, accurate testing, product labeling, and product inspection.

The Florida Department of Health will also be tasked with setting the maximum amount of medical marijuana allowed per patient, and must begin registering patients and caregivers and no later than nine (9) months after the Amendment's effective date. If the DoH does not begin issuing identification cards and registering Medical marijuana Treatment Centers within the time periods, then any Florida citizen will be allowed to seek judicial relief to force the Department to comply with their Constitutional duties. The Legislature is not required to, but may enact laws consistent with the Amendment.

There is also a section of the Amendment that protects the confidentiality of qualifying patients. All records containing the identity of qualifying patients shall be confidential and kept from public disclosure, other than for valid medical or law enforcement purposes.

The Florida Supreme Court is currently reviewing the language of the proposed Amendment. United for Care needs to gather at least 683,000 valid signatures by February 1, 2014, for the Amendment to be placed on the November 2014 ballot. If you are interested in supporting this Amendment, please sign the United for Care Petition and mail it as soon as possible. With your support, Florida will be one step closer to bringing medical marijuana to patients with debilitating conditions.

Jeffrey Feiler is a well-known Miami Criminal Lawyer who has been successfully defending the rights of clients for over 30 years with a reputation for getting impressive results.

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