Florida: Growing support to make medical marijuana legal
By Troy Kinsey and Margaret Kavanagh, 13 News Team Coverage
MELBOURNE -- A movement in Florida could put the question of medical marijuana in the hands of voters.
State Senator Larcenia Bullard, D-Miami, filed a bill recently that would put legalizing medical marijuana on the 2012 ballot.
It's something hundreds of people who attended a festival in Melbourne would agree to.
They attended the Cannabis Freedom Festival at Wickham Park near Brevard Community College.
Jodi James, executive director of the Florida Cannabis Network says responsible adults and their doctors should be able to decide whether to use medical marijuana.
"We should take tax it, we should control it," James said. "If someone is growing it, it should be there responsibility alone. We believe by regulating it and controlling it we are going to be keeping it out of the hands of children as opposed to an unregulated market."
James also says making it legal would also make it a valuable cash crop. "This is a multi billion dollar worldwide industry that Florida farmers have no access to it."
But many believe marijuana is a dangerous gateway drug and want it to remain illegal.
Bullard's bill creates an amendment that allows people with a debilitating medical condition be able to use marijuana as a form of treatment on the advice of a doctor. The legislation would also allow medical marijuana farms and dispensaries to operate in Florida.
The bill has to pass both the Florida House and Senate before it can go on the ballot.