By Anthony Martinelli

A Florida House committee has overwhelmingly passed a measure that would drastically alter a medical cannabis law approved by voters last year.

The House Health Quality Subcommittee passed House Bill 1397 yesterday with a 14 to 1 vote. The measure, sponsored by House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, would prohibit the smoking of medical cannabis and cannabis products and would ban edibles entirely. In addition, it would prohibit patients from vaping unless they are terminally ill. This would leave patients to rely on other methods of consumption such as topicals and pills.

This would be a drastic change to Amendment 2, the initiative that legalized medical cannabis in the state; it was approved by voters in November with 71% in favor. The constitutional amendment allows those with a recommendation from a physician to possess and use medical cannabis, and to purchase it from a licensed dispensary.

According to Ben Pollara, campaign manager for United for Care, the group behind Amendment 2, the new law was designed “for the less than 29% who voted against Amendment 2, rather than the over 71% who voted “Yes” on the constitutional amendment.”

House Bill 1397 has been sent to the House Appropriations Committee.

Those in Florida who oppose these proposed changes should contact their district’s legislators and urge them to vote “No” on House Bill 1397 if given the opportunity; if you don’t know who your legislators are you can look them up by clicking here.

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