By Jonathan Gilinski
Many Florida cities have passed marijuana decriminalization ordinances within the past several months, including Miami-Dade, West Palm Beach, and Volusia. This means those areas are likely experiencing similar confusion.
Yet, while the conflicting laws raise concern, they do not appear to be as problematic as the authority being given to law enforcement officers, even those at the state level, when it comes to deciding which pot offenders get a ticket and who goes to jail.
Marijuana advocates argue that giving police the right to make this choice can lead to incarcerations based on nothing more than racial bias. While these reforms are certainly better than automatic criminalization, allowing officers to decide who gets a ticket and who gets jail time for the same offense is unfair treatment and could cause racial issues that we have been attempting to eliminate for a long time.
On another note, the uncertainty of the availability of medical marijuana in Florida has cities passing laws regulating marijuana dispensaries that don’t exist yet. Marijuana advocates are prepared to put up a fight, regardless if it means facing the strong opposition that crushed the amendment in 2014.
Flager County Sheriff Jim Manfre publicly debuted his support for the amendment based on his mother’s experience with chemotherapy; the Sheriffs Association has yet to take a side.
The proposed amendment would allow the use of marijuana for those with cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis or other similar conditions.
The Florida Legislature passed an expansion of the state’s already-existing medical marijuana law this year. In 2014, it legalized strains of marijuana low in THC, the compound that causes users to get high. This year, the Legislature allowed full-strength marijuana, but only for people for whom two doctors give a year or less to live. All of that pot will be grown by a handful of growers throughout the state.
Cities across South Florida are already worried about having dispensaries right at their doorstep, however North Lauderdale approved a year-long suspension on the sale of medical marijuana anywhere in the city. They claim this will give them time to create rules that keep marijuana dispensaries at an acceptable distance from schools and churches — if it’s allowed at all.
- Boca Raton extended its 12-month pause until this October. It freezes cultivation, processing, distributing or selling medical marijuana or “related activities.”
- Wilton Manors passed a moratorium until October 2017, while Lighthouse Point has a similar moratorium that expires Oct. 31.
- Oakland Park, Weston, Miramar, Plantation and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea also have zoning laws established even though the state law will not bring dispensaries to cities.
- The only legal dispensaries are the current six nurseries; the amendment vote is still months away.
The Mayor of Wilton Manors, Gary Resnick, revealed that his town and others are being extremely proactive.
“We want to make sure it’s in an appropriate district and not in residential districts,” he said. “We want to be ahead of this so we wouldn’t be caught off-guard.”
Well, is there any hope for Florida?
I believe so.
I believe that the wording of Florida’s legislation causes the cannabis capsule to shine.
An educated assumption would be that patients benefit from taking a capsule rather than other forms of cannabis.The beauty of the cannabis capsule lies in the simplicity of the concept. Cannabis capsules are convenient and can be customized for every patient’s individual needs, creating a superior experience for the patient.
Cannabis capsules also provide the patients with a smokeless option, containing no carbon monoxide or combustion of plant material. In many ways this method of consuming cannabis is a much healthier option when compared to other forms of intake, like smoking.
Patients who undergo regular treatments for their medical condition are often already accustomed to consuming medicine in the form of a capsule and find it easy to transition into cannabis based medicines this way. Presenting their medical cannabis in a familiar delivery form will hopefully give Florida the hope it so desperately needs.