TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – Former U.S. Rep. turned gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham is calling for the Florida legislature to hold a special session to enact the medical marijuana legalization amendment overwhelmingly passed by Florida voters in 2016.
“I watched my husband battle cancer and the sickening effects of chemotherapy. So many patients with cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis and other debilitating diseases could use medical marijuana as a way to treat their pain,” Graham said. “Floridians spent years begging the legislature to take action before taking their case to the voters, but once again, the legislature is ignoring them. If the people of Florida give me the honor of serving as governor, their voices will be heard.”
The marijuana bill died Friday when the Florida Legislature couldn’t agree on language.
The House and Senate agreed on most key parts of a bill putting rules in place for Amendment 2. But it collapsed when the chambers could not agree on the number of retail dispensaries that a medical marijuana treatment center can operate.
The House voted 99-16 on a bill with the amended language (HB 1397) that put the limit at 100 per treatment center but the Senate, which limited it to five per treatment center, did not take it up.
It will now be up to the Department of Health to come up with rules for patients, caregivers, doctors and treatment centers by July 3 and have them implemented by October.
Graham says failure to enact Amendment 2 to legalize medical marijuana, which passed with more than 71-percent approval in 2016, is the latest example of the legislature ignoring Florida voters.
Graham entered the 2018 governor’s race last week, joining a field of Democrats who hope to reclaim an office their party hasn’t held in nearly two decades.
“The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.”