Medical weed on the ropes in FLA…Bong ban goes into effect July 1
I suspect that some of you may imbibe from time to time in a bit of the ganja as you surf the blogosphere. For that reason, I thought that a few words about what is going on here in Florida may be of some interest to you, regardless of where you reside.
Before I get started, I want to make it clear that I am not a pot apologist. I am far from it, but I do think that the drug laws in the United States need to be overhauled. Especially those laws related to marijuana. So let it be known that I am not a cannabis user. At least I don’t plan to use it unless I find myself afflicted with one of several chronic diseases, the pain of which seems to be markedly lessened by a daily dose of marijuana (a joint or two).
Should I find myself in constant pain brought on by one of these diseases, I would think that I would have enough to worry about, without being concerned that the authorities could descend upon my home at any time and seize my plants. The plants that I had nurtured since they were seedlings in the privacy of my own home; the ones that I lovingly cared for in the privacy of my own home; so that when they were mature, I could pluck forth a few leaves and dry them, and then in the privacy of my own home, smoke said leaves, and in so doing achieve some relief from the pain associated with my disease.
Which brings me to Parris, Florida resident, Cathy Jordan. The 62 year old Jordan suffers from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Confined to a wheelchair and barely able to speak, Ms. Jordan, with the help of her husband, Bob, grows her own marijuana, or at least she used to grow it, until deputies from the Manatee County Sheriff’s office raided her home and confiscated her plants, seedlings and all.
Ms. Jordan, who is a high-profile activist for legalization of marijuana for medical purposes, was given three to five years to live back in 1986. Today, by her own admission, she has outlived many of the doctors who treated her – a fact that she attributes to her daily cannabis regimen.
Today, Senate Bill 1250, the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act, is slogging its way through the Florida legislature, probably not destined to become law anytime soon, if ever. If enacted, this law would have allowed folks like Ms. Jordan to legally grow up to 8 marijuana plants for personal use. Frankly, it does not look good for this important legislation during this session. If you reside here in the Sunshine State and you believe that this measure is important enough to warrant a few minutes of your time, please contact your state legislator and voice your support.
But do not think our Florida lawmakers are sitting on their hands waiting for the session to end, oh no. They have pushed through a new law to take effect on July 1, 2013 to help protect us from the evils of pot. As of that date we Floridians shall be forbidden to purchase ‘bongs’, or those pipes especially sold to smoke weed. Well…they are sort of banned. Sale of bongs is now relegated to only those establishments that derive 75 percent of their income from selling tobacco products.