Public Hearings Continue Over Implementation Of Medical Marijuana

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – At the Department of Health in Fort Lauderdale, the meeting room at capacity, the crowd overflowed into the front lobby for a public hearing about medical marijuana and the implementation of Amendment 2.

“My condition doesn’t fall under amendment 2,” said a medical marijuana patient at the hearing. “I’m not a criminal, I’m a father of three. My wife is a teacher. I deserve the right to access proper medication at a proper price.”

Many are concerned about limited access to the medication. As it stands, there are only seven licensed dispensaries in the state.

“Patients need and deserve access to this plant,” said a medical caretaker at the hearing. “They need a variety of strains of this plant and not just one. They need access that is affordable which, when you look at the vertical system, the costs are through the roof. I’m talking to patients who are being told $2500 to $5000 to treat their cancer.”

Daniel Oates, former Colorado police chief and current Miami Beach police chief, spoke for his city and chiefs across the state.

“We all want local control of how medical marijuana treatment centers and dispensaries operate,” said Oates. “It’s very important to law enforcement that 24 hours a day we know who is in lawful possession of marijuana.”

The superintendent of schools in Miami-Dade County is compassionate for the patients in need, but he’s asking for clear regulations.

“We’re looking for three things,” said Alberto Carvalho, Miami-Dade School Superintendent. “First, safe distance between dispensaries and schools no fewer than 2500 feet. Absolute prohibition in terms of packaging as candy and soft drinks that can send wrong message to kids. And third, let us have latitude of having regulations specific in the dispensaries of these products in the workplace to children as prescribed medication.”

Public hearings on the implementation of medical marijuana will continue Wednesday in Tampa.

Hearings in Orlando and Tallahassee will go on the rest of the week.

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