Senator Farmer, District 34 — Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 2, 2017
Senator Farmer Files Bill to Allow Smoking Marijuana for Medical Use
This morning Senator Farmer filed SB 726, a bill to legalize the smoking of marijuana for medical use. While Floridians successfully amended the State’s constitution (Amendment 2) in November of 2016 to allow for the use of medical marijuana, the Governor and the legislature specifically excluded the smoking of marijuana as a valid medical use in statutes written to implement the Amendment. This decision has been widely criticized as a violation of the Amendment’s intent. The text of Amendment 2 made it clear to the 71% of Floridians who voted for it that the smoking of marijuana in private for medical purposes would be constitutionally guaranteed.
SB 726 would attempt to reconcile the State’s statutes with the mandate established by the voters, and enshrined in the Florida Constitution.
“Each and every legislator including myself swore an oath to defend the Constitution of the State of Florida. An overwhelming majority of voters ratified Amendment 2, and its intent could not be more clear: to allow for the use of medical marijuana, including smoking. The fact that the text of the Amendment specifically disallowed the smoking of marijuana in public places indicates that a patient should be allowed to do so elsewhere. With the passage of the implementation language last session, we as a legislature failed to uphold our oath to defend the State’s Constitution. We owe it to the people of Florida to fix this mistake,” said Senator Farmer about allowing the smoking of medical marijuana.
Senator Farmer believes that this bill is especially necessary in the face of the growing opioid crisis. “The passage of this bill (SB 726) is required now more than ever,” Senator Farmer said. “Right now when a patient is faced with chronic pain and other pain inducing ailments, doctors have limited options available to them as to how to help provide relief for their patients. We need to make sure that our medical professionals are equipped with a full range of options to care for their patients’ needs, while not subjecting them to the horrifying possibilities that can result from the prescription of opioid-based medications. We know that the best delivery method for medical marijuana can vary depending on the patient and the circumstances involved. It makes sense for us to allow doctors and patients to find the best treatment plans on an individual basis. It is not for the legislature to determine treatment the proper plans for our citizens.”
Senator Farmer hopes to see bipartisan support for SB 726, as it will both adequately reflect the mandate of Florida’s Constitution and provide Floridians with the best possible healthcare.