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Monday, October 25, 2021

Florida Senate to hear bill on medical marijuana

UF student Guy Ginton may not need medical marijuana, but he supports it for people who do.

Eighteen states, plus the District of Columbia, allow the use of medical marijuana, and Florida may be next.

Florida State Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, filed the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act on Feb. 27, which would allow for the possession and use of marijuana for medical purposes in Florida.

The bill is named for Cathy Jordan, the president of the Florida Cannabis Action Network, who has Lou Gehrig’s disease. Her house was raided by police, seizing the marijuana she was using to treat her condition.

“Her case really demonstrates a lot of what’s going on right now,” said Ginton, 21, an UF economics junior and former president of UF’s chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Ginton said he feels people should have full rights to use marijuana as medicine.

“Right now, you have people who can be treated with this medicine and aren’t able,” he said. “It’s a weird situation — in certain states you can be treated, but in others you can’t.”

A recent poll showed as many as seven in 10 Florida voters would support a state constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana. The poll, which was conducted by People United for Medical Marijuana, showed 24 percent of respondents opposed medical marijuana. The bill was introduced to the Florida Senate on March 5.

But UF anthropology sophomore Mariah Nelson, 19, said she would vote against medical marijuana.

“I don’t think it should be smoked,” she said. “There are other, healthier ways to relieve stress and pain.”

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