State Senator Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, filed a bill earlier this week that, if passed, would allow qualified Florida patients to own and use medical marijuana.
Florida lawmakers are now expected to consider the possibility of medical marijuana in the state during the next legislative session later this year.
SB1250, also known as the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act, was brought to the Florida Senate with the help of the Florida Cannabis Action Network. The organization's president Cathy Jordan is a Lou Gehrig's Disease patient who uses medical marijuana to treat her constant pain. On Monday, the Manatee County Sheriff's Department raided her home and seized 23 marijuana plants, but made no arrests.
If the bill is passed, SB1250 would allow patients to possess up to four ounces of marijuana and grow up to eight plants.
If medical marijuana becomes a reality in Florida, the Sunshine State would join 19 others with similar policies regarding the drug. A recent poll sponsored by People United for Medical Marijuana (PUFMM) and conducted by Hamilton Campaigns found that nearly 70 percent of registered voters throughout the state supported the idea of a medical marijuana bill.
Senator Clemens previously filed a bill pushing for medical marijuana that was unsuccessful back in 2011 when he worked as a state representative.
This is the second consecutive year the Florida Senate has faced a bill pushing for medical marijuana. The bill was shot down by both committees last year.
UPDATE: Prominent Orlando-based attorney John Morgan has joined the efforts to legalize medical Marijuana in Florida with a $3.5 million donation.