Tuesday turned out to be a big night for medical marijuana supporters in Florida – with voters overwhelmingly casting their votes in favor of a full-scale medical marijuana program. Florida’s Amendment 2 has the potential to be one of the most permissive medical marijuana rules in the country. Amendment 2 provides that patients with illnesses such as cancer, HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy would be eligible to access medical marijuana. In addition to the prescribed illness, the measure also allows doctors to recommend medical marijuana for “other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated, and for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.” While the measure requires that the illness be severe – the wording seems to give physicians a lot of leeway in determining which conditions meet the “severe” criteria.
Although the law is set to go into effect in January of 2017, Florida lawmakers must still draft laws regarding how the law will be implemented and regulated, which is set to begin in March 2017. Further, patients themselves must have a 90-day relationship with physicians licensed by the state before obtaining the cannabis.