Florida lawmakers passed a CBD-only bill last month and voters will decide this November whether or not to adopt a ballot measure that would legalize medical marijuana in the state once and for all.
But is all of that needed? According to Ian Christensen, an attorney with the Health Law Services in Jacksonville, Florida, a 1991 court ruling has allowed for patients with a “medical necessity” to possess, cultivate and use medical marijuana for more than 20 years.
“Most people in Florida have never heard of the 1991 case of Jenks v. State. This case set the precedent for the Doctrine of Medical Necessity in Florida,” Christopher writes on his blog at Health Law Services. “This Law gives patients that are currently suffering from a debilitating medical condition the right to consume, possess, and cultivate marijuana, provided the patient or caregiver can establish that the patient has a legal ‘medical necessity’.”
Jacksonville’s Anneliese Clark, mother to 9-year-old Christina who suffers from a rare form of epilepsy. Three brain surgeries, dozens of pharmaceuticals and stem cell treatments haven’t helped. But cannabis might. Anneliese tells First Coast News that she planned to move to Colorado as recently as a few months back. But after finding out about the Florida Doctrine of Medical Necessity she says she’s willing to put that doctrine to the test.
Clark is working with Health Law Services to get her ducks in a row to approach the courts and get the permission she rightly deserves to grow medicine for her sick child.
And according to Christensen’s take on the law, she’s got a good chance of getting that approval. Christensen, the defense has to show that “The defendants had no control over the circumstances which required the choice between the lesser of two evils; no less harmful alternative was available; and the harm sought to be avoided was less offensive than the criminal acts committed to avoid it.”
While the move might be a worthy one if the November medical marijuana ballot measure fails, it will largely be redundant if the measure passes. According to the language, patients would be able to cultivate their own supply at home as well as designate a caregiver to cultivate for the patient.