Florida Senate - 2013                                    SB 1214
       By Senator Clemens
       27-01494-13                                           20131214__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to public records; creating s.
    3         499.815, F.S.; exempting from public records
    4         requirements a form, application, record, interview,
    5         report, physician’s statement, memorandum, or drug
    6         test result, relating to the medical use of cannabis,
    7         held by the Department of Health, the Department of
    8         Business and Professional Regulation, or the
    9         Department of Revenue; providing for future
   10         legislative review and repeal of the exemption under
   11         the Open Government Sunset Review Act; providing a
   12         statement of public necessity; providing a contingent
   13         effective date.
   15  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   17         Section 1. Section 499.815, Florida Statutes, is created to
   18  read:
   19         499.815Public records exemption for the medical use of
   20  cannabis.—
   21         (1)Any application, form, record, interview, report,
   22  statement, memorandum, physician’s statement, or drug test
   23  results held by the Department of Health, the Department of
   24  Business and Professional Regulation, and the Department of
   25  Revenue under part III of chapter 499, is confidential and
   26  exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State
   27  Constitution, and may not be used or received in evidence,
   28  obtained in discovery, or disclosed in any public or private
   29  proceedings, except in accordance with part III of chapter 499.
   30         (2)This section is subject to the Open Government Sunset
   31  Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15, and shall stand
   32  repealed on October 2, 2018, unless reviewed and saved from
   33  repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
   34         Section 2. The Legislature finds it is a public necessity
   35  that applications, forms, records, interviews, reports,
   36  statements, memoranda, physician’s statements, and drug test
   37  results held by the Department of Health, the Department of
   38  Business and Professional Regulation, and the Department of
   39  Revenue under part III of chapter 499, Florida Statutes, be made
   40  confidential and exempt from disclosure. Information concerning
   41  the medical use of cannabis which a physician has recommended
   42  for a qualifying patient as defined in s. 499.804, Florida
   43  Statutes, is a private, personal matter between the patient, the
   44  physician, and the patient’s caregiver. Nevertheless, the
   45  registration of qualifying patients and patients’ caregivers
   46  will ensure the ability of the state to review and provide
   47  oversight of prescribing and dispensing medical cannabis. If, in
   48  the process, the information that would identify a qualifying
   49  patient or a patient’s caregiver is not made confidential and
   50  exempt from disclosure, any person could inspect and copy
   51  documentation that relates to the qualifying patient’s use,
   52  administration, and possession of, and the patient’s caregiver’s
   53  administration and possession of, medical cannabis and be aware
   54  of the qualifying patient’s use of cannabis. The availability of
   55  such information to the public would result in the invasion of
   56  the qualifying patient’s privacy and the patient caregiver’s
   57  privacy. If information regarding the qualifying patient could
   58  be correlated with his or her use of medical cannabis, it would
   59  be possible for the public to become aware of the diseases or
   60  other medical concerns for which the qualifying patient is being
   61  treated by his or her physician. This knowledge could be used to
   62  embarrass or to humiliate a qualifying patient or to
   63  discriminate against him or her. Additionally, exempting from
   64  disclosure information held by the departments which relates to
   65  the use of medical cannabis will prevent an individual from
   66  identifying which physician recommends the use of medical
   67  cannabis most often and from seeking out the physician in order
   68  to increase the likelihood of obtaining cannabis. Further,
   69  protecting information relating to medical cannabis and its use,
   70  administration, and possession by a qualifying patient, and its
   71  administration and possession by the patient’s caregiver, also
   72  prevents an individual from identifying the qualifying patient
   73  and patient’s caregiver and from seeking out those persons for
   74  robbery, burglary, or illicit drug activities. Accordingly, the
   75  Legislature finds that the harm to a qualifying patient and
   76  patient’s caregiver resulting from the release of the
   77  information regarding the use, administration, and possession of
   78  medical cannabis which is contained in documentation held by the
   79  Department of Health, the Department of Business and
   80  Professional Regulation, and the Department of Revenue under
   81  part III of chapter 499, Florida Statutes, outweighs any minimal
   82  public benefit derived from disclosure to the public, and such
   83  information must therefore be confidential and exempt from
   84  disclosure.
   85         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2013, if SB
   86  _______, or similar legislation that legalizes the medical use
   87  of cannabis, is adopted in the same legislative session, or an
   88  extension thereof, and becomes a law.