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COUNTERPOINT: I'm Tired of Apologizing to Families in Need of Medical Marijuana

April 28, 2017 - 8:00am

The following video is Rep. Katie Edwards' impassioned plea to Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, to kill the 90-day wait period in House Bill 1397 on medical marijuana -- asking him to make sure the bill considers patients first.

Edwards, D-Plantation, is one of the originators of Florida's 2014 medical marijuana law allowing noneuphoric strains of marijuana for epilepsy and cancer.

In the video below, Edwards was speaking specifically to Rodrigues during the April 18 meeting of the House Appropriations Committee. The rule at issue says patients must have a 90-day relationship with a doctor before that doctor can recommend marijuana.

Though the waiting period was part of the original bill, Edwards now says including it was a mistake.

Here, she tearfully tells her fellow committee members how the issue has come to affect her personally -- that her cousin’s infant son developed a rare form of cancer: “I’m the lawmaker who has to defend the 90-day waiting period and I can’t keep apologizing for that anymore. To tell a loved one, my own cousin and have to rationalize the irrational, we can’t do that.”

Edwards' entire commentary, in video form, is below:


Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation, worked with former Rep. (now Congressman) Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, to get Florida's groundbreaking "Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014" passed.


While I reluctantly support legalization of marijuana, I think "medical marijuana" is a fraud being pushed by a combination of people who think the medical step will get us closer to legalization whether the medical benefits are falid or not, and those (probably including Edwards) who are compassionate yet gullible about the medical benefits of marijuana.

Then it is safe to say you dont have any idea what you're talking about, or even a light grasp of the basics. You're making an argument which was put to bed years ago. Marijuana is medicine, period.

Waiting period? Absolutely ABSURD! When a Doctor prescribes ANY "medical process", there is NO REASON it should not be followed through in a Very Timely manner. Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, has, I believe, been "INFLUENCED" to push his 90-day plan. he is NOT a worthy Representative, and should be DUMPED ASAP -- why not RESIGN NOW, Ray-Ray?

The last thing any normal person needs is having to go to the doctor. Smoking a 35% THC Marijuana Joint a day keeps the doctor away, smart advice.

I hope you said that in JEST. Otherwise we are returning to the 19th century where Opium and Morphine were prescribed by Doctors to "MASK" pain. A 35% THC content Marijuana will make someone forget what Planet they are on. If the best we can do is MASK someone's pain then where have we Progressed? I believe this whole process will only allow more "Fake" illnesses to appear as young people line-up to get their Dose of Marijuana from their new Dealer......Florida. The Country-wide "Disease" of Chronic Back Pain will increase by 1,000%. We are solving Nothing!! Those who may actually need it to help with symptoms, should be getting it from a Hospital, or a Pharmacy.....NOT from a Public Dispenser.............This is Only a FRONT for the eventually Recreational use for all the remaining IDIOTS.

Truthbetold - alcohol is a lot more dangerous and is legal. Check out the number of people who have died from drunk drivers alone. Then check to see how many people have died because of marijuana...the facts show that alcohol is far more dangerous. You plan to close all liquor stores? I don't think so. SO, why the hypocrisy? Some pain can only be dealt with - and if your options are alcohol, pain killers or MMJ, then MMJ is your safest bet. My Dad is a physician. After his pain started, he didn't want to use pain killers, he knows how addictive they are. He's not a drinker so, MMJ was his only other option and it is working for him. Sure, others will use it too, so what? It's not the demon many think it is. It is like alcohol, only MUCH safer.

Hello Mel; Young people don't have to line up.It is, and always has been available to adults and children everywhere in Florida, Along with a hell of a lot of worse drugs, narcotics comes to mind. To strictly regulate MMJ all the House and Senate are doing is making sure that the "One Percenters" can have a choice of the best MMJ available. The real answer in my "opinion" is to legalize it, tax it let the people over 21 that want to use it or need it for medicine, grow their own and make strict laws and I mean "STRICT" Laws against anyone giving it to a person under 21 (other than a Doctor for a Real medical purpose). This would make it a lot harder for children to get their hands on it and the black market to make a dollar. The benefits would more than out way any harm. The way it is now is "ALL ABOUT MONEY" Private Prisons, drug Manufactures, Pharmacy's (Publics food and Drug's 800,000 contribution to NO ON 2) The Semblers Rehabs, look up what they did to teenagers in their programs. Sheldon Alderson and the list goes on. Lets not forget where the campaign contributions came from to the ones sponsoring the bills in the house and senate now. It is time for a serious change of the politician's elected in Tallahassee that blatantly go against the peoples Will and only make regulations to line their and their contributors Pockets.

"Kabuki Theater" enacting "tradgedy"...

Thanks Rep. Edwards. You're exactly right. As a Dr. I know recently said; "There is zero question that at some point you, or someone close to you, will be asking for Medical Marijuana to try and help them from an illness like M.S., Cancer, Epilepsy, PTSD etc etc." The Dr.-Patient relationship is private and begins on day ONE. Any Dr. will tell you that. The "Barney and Mel" view of the world is a sad piece of Florida history that will soon be at an end. Law suits will begin "day one" on Rep. Rodrigues' regulation and citizens will recapture what they already won. I just feel for the segment of our population that gets forgotten until then.

Katie, Katie,Katie, As a politician you should understand the Ray Rodrigues cares nothing about your family or any other medically needed family in Florida. Ray has been brought and paid for by Calvina Fay, Mel the criminal Sember, they dictate his actions. Corrupt politicians are concerned about their power and they money they receive to server the masters that keeps them in power. You and your fellow legislators need to vote no on Ray bill. No bill is better that a bad bill. Senator Bradley bill like Ray's has been paid for by special interest groups, pay to play. Please do not vote for these bills the only bill that will truly serve Floridians is senator Brandes bill. The local government need to determine the who, what, where and why not the corrupt politicians in Tallahassee. Let the Department of Health develop the regulations for amendment 2

well said, tell them to vote the fools out.

I want to thank Rep. Edwards for her hard work in getting the 90 day period off the table. That said, What about the poor that are in need or the ones that smoking is the best way to ingest cannabis. There is way too much politics in the regulations being drawn up as it stands. I could go on forever about it's insanity. Bottom line, if it is implemented the way the House and Senate are drawing it up. There will be more than 71% of the people (the number of people that voted for it) still suffering and dying that will not be able to either afford it or use it the way it will help them. The Phrase that comes to my mind is Florida has the best politicians "MONEY CAN BUY"

If the med dispenser locations later become recreational dispensers, local planning decisions should relocate them in appropriate areas. Similar to liquor stores or strip clubs, you don't want them just anywhere.

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