Medical Marijuana Supporters Claim Florida Health Department Clouding Rules

Proponents of Florida's medical marijuana amendment say the state heath department is clouding the rules just days after voters passed the measure.

"We know the legislature is really on board. They take notice of a 71.3 percentage vote by the population and they have assured us they are listening to the voters," attorney Gerry Greenspoon said.

But it would appear the Florida Department of Health isn't when it comes to medical marijuana.

Greenspoon, who represents hundreds of legal marijuana businesses nationwide, is working with the Florida Legislature to write the state's medical marijuana laws. He claims the health department is only trying to expand the existing cannabis oil law.

"To say we are skeptical is an understatement. It may actually be illegal and unconstitutional contrary to what was passed," Greenspoon said.

Greenspoon says there are some major issues right now listed on the health department's Office of Compassionate Use website.

The first line on the medical cannabis information page is in direct contradiction to Amendment 2 when it says patients must have a 3-month relationship with their recommending doctor.

Also in conflict with the amendment's intent is that physicians have to go through required training, an 8-hour class.

"When a doctor's in his office and a salesman comes in with the little cart with new medications, the doctor doesn't have to take a course on new medication," said Karen Goldstein, executive director of NORML.

NORML, an organization fighting to sway public opinion about marijuana use, takes exception with language that would limit the growing, manufacturing and dispensing to just six licensees. They say it creates a monopoly on what should be a free and open market, and it's logistically impossible.

"The number of patients will exceed what these six growers can provide and it's not in the intent of the amendment," Goldstein said.

Goldstein and Greenspoon both agree the health department is headed in the right direction but is clouding an already controversial issue.

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran gave assurances that legislators will protect the state and the voters.

"We will defend and protect the people's right. And they've spoken loudly and overwhelmingly," Corcoran said.

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