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John Morgan calls medical marijuana expansion bill ‘typical Tallahassee window dressing’

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The group backing a medical marijuana ballot initiative is calling out lawmakers for a proposal that provides relief to more patients.

The Florida Senate voted 28-11 to approve a bill that expands the Right to Try Act to include medical marijuana. Under the proposal, the bill allows eligible patients — defined as someone with one year left to live — to purchase and use medical marijuana from dispensing agencies.

While the measure allows people with one year left to live to use medical marijuana, not just the low THC version approved in 2014, lawmakers swatted down amendments to expand the patients to include people suffering from a variety of illnesses or disabilities, including cancer, paraplegia or quadriplegia.

“Once again, Tallahassee politicians are putting their own campaigns before medical science and the rights of doctors. This law would do nothing for people like my brother, a quadriplegic, or any other person who has intractable pain. It does nothing to help cancer patients who need marijuana to counter the affects of chemo,” said John Morgan, the chairman of the United for Care campaign, the group backing the medical marijuana ballot initiative.

“It does nothing for our solders with PTSD or patients with MS. The bill is typical Tallahassee window dressing, designed more to help with campaigns than serve as a true means of access for those that need it. Hospice centers have another drug. It’s called morphine.”

Among other things, the bill also creates new regulatory standards, gives assurances to the five nurseries that won licenses last year and paves the way for more dispensing organizations to get licenses in the future.

Amendment 2, the constitutional amendment to make medical marijuana available to more Floridians, is on the ballot this November. A similar amendment on the 2014 ballot received 58 percent, just short of the 60 percent needed to become law.

According to a recent Public Policy Polling survey, the 2016 amendment is supported by about 65 percent of registered voters.

The bill now heads to Gov. Rick Scott for his signature or veto.

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