Florida medical marijuana
Medical Marijuana Policy

Former Florida Lieutenant Governor Wants To Legalize Medical Marijuana

Florida medical marijuanaAfter the 2014 Election, all eyes have been on Florida to see if the Florida Legislature will step up and carry out the will of 58% of Florida voters that want medical marijuana to be legalized. Medical marijuana in Florida is more popular than any political candidate that ran in 2014. I can’t think of any other issue in Florida that is more popular right now. There will be a high profile lobbyist pushing for medical marijuana legislation between now and the 2016 Election. Per Sunshine State News:

Jeff Kottkamp, former Republican lieutenant governor of Florida, completed paperwork Monday to begin lobbying on behalf of a new Florida for Care medical marijuana bill. It is expected to be a legislative alternative to a 2016 United for Care ballot amendment already in the petition process.

Kottkamp said he will use experience he gained leading the Governor’s Office of Drug Control during the Crist administration to represent Florida for Care, the sister organization of United for Care, of which attorney John Morgan is chairman.

Kottkamp said he will be working with Dan Rogers, Florida for Care’s director of legislative affairs. “I’ll be lobbying for the legislation, not the ballot amendment,” he said.

Florida’s Legislature has the opportunity during the next session to pass their version of a real medical marijuana bill. If they fail to do so, Florida voters will likely see another medical marijuana initiative on the 2016 ballot. The main backer of the 2014 effort, attorney John Morgan, is already in the process of beginning to collect signatures for a revamped initiative for Election 2016. 2016 will be a much more favorable year for the campaign compared to 2014 since it’s a Presidential election year, and with some tweaks to the bill and an improved campaign strategy, I’m confident that the initiative will pass. But hopefully the Florida Legislature steps up and saves activists a lot of time and money.

  • Jeff deutsch

    Its great to see that John Morgan has brought Jeff Kottkamp in to help get this important legislation passed. From what I’ve read, this is an intensely personal issue for him, because he lost his mother to Cancer. Every Cancer patient deserves the right to Medical Marijuana. Florida’s Cancer patients shouldn’t have to want a single minute longer, and its critical that the legislation be as broad as possible — at a minimum at least as broad as amendment 2 was. The earlier attempt at passing a much more restrictive bill based on “Charlottes web” has been a dismal failure. Cancer patients, and others, that can benefit from Medical Marijuana shouldn’t be used a “Political Footballs” and shouldn’t have to jump through hoops and neither should their caregivers and the people who manufacture and supply Medical Marijuana to them. The guiding principle should be one of compassion. Marijuana has an unmatched safety profile. Its not just good medicine, its a “wonder drug” for a wide range of conditions that’s incredibly safe — much safer than any other medications used for the conditions it is used for by patients that use it.

    • Acidsex

      In all fairness, why do we always focus on the cancer patients as being the most in need of it? Do others who suffer from other afflictions not matter as much? When we make statements that single out one segment that we deem should have more of a right and priority when tend to piss off the rest who would benefit nearly as much as the cancer patients.

      To take it a step further, why can’t we extend the right to those who may not suffer from an affliction now but instead wish to ingest cannabis as a preventative medication? I strongly believe that cannabis consumption can help prevent some of these diseases from actually afflicting people but until now, we have been a reactionary society. If cannabis can kill and cure some diseases, why the hell could it not prevent those same things?

  • Jeff deutsch

    I hope he succeeds quickly. Its vital that Florida’s Cancer patients are able to get safe, legal, access to Medical Marijuana immediately.

  • Acidsex

    Personally, 2014 is what Florida needed. What Florida ends up with will be nothing close to it. The legislation will pass something this session just to be able to say “see, we already have a MMJ bill so now we don’t need an amendment.” 2016 proposed amendment will fall short of actually providing access to patients of all debilitating conditions.

  • AAMCO

    It would be a dream if they wrote a good bill like Washington DC has for full legal and use that as our medical bill, what a great easy system those council people set up with their mayor, if only it where that simple. O wait it is. HOMEGROWS

    • Meregow

      I totally agree! There are so many positive reasons to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. First and foremost, tax revenue. As demonstrated in Colorado, the state will gain millions of dollars in tax revenue. Second, it will decrease the street crime associated with shady deals where people are injured or killed during transactions. It will nearly guarantee the cleanliness and potency of the product rather than something someone grew in a insect or mold-infested grow house. Let us not forget how mellow everyone will be! Bakery and potato chip sales will skyrocket too. LOL

  • I hope someday Florida will full of cannabis smoke…

  • don given

    I had polio when I was 6 years old and am now sixty nine years old, the extra strain on my body has taken its tole on my body in many ways. A narcoticly based pain releaver would not be appropriate nor wanted ( addiction and a building tolerance) of narcotic based pain relievers is not even a little bit acceptable to me.
    Marijuana is the only NON addictive pain releaver that is practical for long term use (40+) years experience is my credentials for such a statement.
    It disturbed me to no end to have some indsoctrinated , money grubbing, bised no nothing, sitting in judgement telling me I don’t have the right to this safe, non addictive drug to treat my sometimes very depressing pains.
    And what’s worse 58% of the Florida citizens ( many elderly) voted for its legalization. 58% is a clear majority, and if I remember correctly the MAJORITY rules! Why is Florida suddenly a communistic state??????

  • khh

    I love this! Latest from Floriduh =>

    “Tribe threatens to grow pot if casino isn’t allowed near Pensacola”

    1:09 pm, February 20, 2015

    http://touch.orlandosentinel.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-82873298/