Florida Medical Marijuana Bill Author Jeff Clemens Says "It's About Compassion"

Categories: News
jeff clemens.jpg
State Sen. Jeff Clemens

Florida state Sen. Jeff Clemens introduced a bill Wednesday that would allow patients with certain qualifying medical conditions to privately and legally possess medical marijuana.

The bill, named after Florida Cannabis Action Network President and ALS patient Cathy Jordan, would allow patients to possess up to four ounces of marijuana and grow up to eight marijuana plants.

See also:
-Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced in Florida

"When a patient comes into your office and tells you all the meds that they're taking don't work, don't relieve their suffering, but marijuana does," Clemens tells New Times, "it's hard to look at that person in the eye and not do something about it."

Clemens made history in 2010 when he introduced the first medical marijuana bill in Florida.

It was, of course, quickly shot down by the Florida Legislature. 

Clemens doesn't blame anyone or hold grudges. He knew from the get-go that passing this bill would be an uphill, four- to six-year battle.

Clemens simply wanted to put something out there, to get a feel on what and how the decision makers in Tallahassee would react and, ultimately, what it would take to push this thing through.

"We wanted to establish a framework," he says, "and then devise a bill around what changes to the law would have to be made, what kind of ailments one had to have to be allowed to have medical marijuana."

As for this latest bill, Clemens remains optimistic. 

With Plantation Democrat Kathy Edwards co-sponsoring the bill in the House, the feeling is people are coming around.

"The problem in the past was that people were afraid to go on record," he says. "But attitudes have changed. And maybe the fact that a poll says 70 percent of Floridian voters approve of medical marijuana, things can move forward."

On Monday, a day after the poll was released, Jordan, who is wheelchair-bound due to her battle with Lou Gehrig's disease, had her home raided by cops when a state worker, not even visiting Jordan's home, spotted marijuana plants on her property.

Jordan was diagnosed with ALS in 1986.

Clemens had named the bill after Jordan way before the raid occurred, but it's an unhappy coincidence that it went down just days before he introduced it.

Maybe the image of a wheelchair-stricken women being raided by authorities can turn into something positive, as far as the bill is concerned.

"This is a woman in a wheelchair simply looking to relieve her constant suffering who has tried medications that just don't work," a passionate Clemens says.

"This is about helping people. It's about compassion."


follow Chris Joseph on Twitter





My Voice Nation Help
4 comments
day1kmm
day1kmm

We update, revise every aspect of out lives. We know more now than we ever did. Why is this one important health issue treated like this in todays world? No one should have a gun in their face from law enforcement, be arrested, humiliated, degraded or treated as a subculture for their choice of medicine and/or health needs.

day1kmm
day1kmm

The key is enough Floridians speaking up. Last year we could not get the Bills heard because legislators did not believe there was enough support in Florida for medicinal use. They were afraid they would be voted out of office if they voted in favor.

dodgephillip
dodgephillip

Roger Stone too, recognizes the benefits of legalizing marijuana and he might run for governor. Florida would only be behind the two Western states that legalized it and even New York relaxed the costly arrest part. Every year Florida spends millions prosecuting and jailing people for a victimless crime when they could be garnering tax revenue for weed instead. Some of Stone's fresh ideas were published Thursday:

http://eastorlandopost.com/roger-stone-gallus-snapping-campaign-governor

LWBulldog
LWBulldog

Sure Jeff, it's all about smoking dope. Can't even imagine someone working that hard for 3 years to get a marijuana law passed. Banning driving while texting and talking on cell phones would be less of a cause celebre and would surely save lives.

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...