"MEDICAL" MARIJUANA IS ALREADY LEGAL IN FLORIDA
By Ian j Christensen
In the state of Florida, a patient with a debilitating medical condition has a right to use cannabis just like any other prescription medication, as long as a physician deems cannabis "medically necessary" and orders it's use, pursuant to Fla. Stat. 893.13 (6) (a).
Florida law permits practitioners, without to lawfully order the use of cannabis for their patients. This is pursuant to Fla. Stat. 893.05, and in compliance with Florida Department of Health rule 64B8-9.013, which authorizes the use of ANY controlled substance if the use is consistent with sound scientific and/or medical evidence. As most are aware, there are over 18,000 worldwide published studies on the medical use of cannabis.
Our firm specializes in understanding the application of this medicine, and therefore we provide legal guidance to patients, physicians, hospitals, caregivers, law enforcement, Department of Children and Families, the Florida Department of Health and more.
The question I am usually asked when I speak to a client is "where do I get the medicine." In Florida, an individual may cultivate the plants themselves, or designate a caregiver to cultivate the cannabis plants for the debilitated patient. This is allowed based on Florida's "Medical Necessity Doctrine", which is case law precedent of Jenks v. Florida, 276 So.2D 676, 677 (1st DCA, 1991.)
Florida's medical necessity doctrine is built upon Florida's common law defense of necessity, as outlined in Fla. Stat. 2.01. The purpose of the Doctrine is to prevent innocent patients from having to be arrested and prove in a court of law that they are using cannabis for medical purposes. Therefore, if a patient can prove to a law enforcement officer that cannabis is the safest medication available to treat their diagnosed condition, they are NOT subject to arrest.
To summarize, medical marijuana is legal in Florida already for those with a medical necessity. Our firm assists patients in establishing this medical necessity, then work closely with law enforcement to ensure the patients rights and compliance with all applicable law.
Q. Does this law apply everywhere in Florida?
A. The medical necessity doctrine applies everywhere in Florida. Although the necessity doctrine was a 1st DCA (appellate court) ruling, it is applicable statewide pursuant to the "Pardo Principle", since the ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court.
Q. Why do we need Amendment 2?
A. We don't. Amendment 2 is a regulatory bill, NOT a legalization bill. According to the Florida Department of Health, if Amendment 2 passes, the regulations recently implemented for Charlottes Web will mean the ONLY medical marijuana allowed in Florida will be low-THC cannabis, since SB-1030 is consistent with ALL the requirements of the amendment.
Q. How do I get started?
A. To get started, simply fill out the consultation request form and one of our associates will contact you. We will help you obtain your medical records and schedule an appointment with a physician in your area. Once complete, we provide you will all the legal and medical documentation required that establishes your medical necessity for cannabis.