FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Jesse Teplicki is a pot smoker.
He even grows his own marijuana, at least he did until January 2013 when he was arrested after deputies found his 46 pot plants. Teplicki claimed they were used for medicinal purposes.
Teplicki, 50, claims he has chronic anorexia which results in a suppressed appetite and nausea. He said he was diagnosed with it as a child and found that that marijuana helps.
“Like most people know, marijuana gives you the muchies, so it allows him to eat,” said Teplicki’s attorney Michael Minardi. “It dissuades his nausea and it allows him to function on a daily basis. It stops the vomiting.”
This is not the first time medical marijuana has taken center stage in the state.
Last year, it was on a state wide ballot. Fifty-eight percent of voters were in favor of it, but it needed a 60-percent margin to pass.
Medical marijuana advocates say this is the first of its kind in a jury trial. Teplicki’s attorney said a win could be a game changer around Florida.
“I would hope that prosecutors around this state would see that juries do not want to convict somebody like this and they will feel a little bit more pressure in deciding to press charges when somebody has a medical history and that’s why they’re using cannabis,” said Minardi.
Teplicki faces a maximum of five years in prison if convicted.