Florida State Senator Jeff Brandes, a Republican from St. Petersburg, has filed legislation to explicitly legalize the possession, use and distribution of cannabis for medical purposes.

Under Senate Bill 528, those with a qualifying condition such as epilepsy, cancer and HIV/AIDS who receive a recommendation from a physician would be legally authorized to possess and use medical cannabis. The proposal would legalize medical cannabis dispensaries as a means of safe access for patients, and caregivers would be authorized to purchase cannabis for designated patients.

Filing of the proposal comes just two months after 58% of Florida voters voted to approve Amendment 2, an initiative to legalize medical cannabis through a constitutional amendment, which failed narrowly given it needed 60% to pass. The group behind that initiative – United for Care – is already working on a similar initiative, which was approved earlier this month by Florida’s Secretary of State, with the goal of putting it to a vote in 2016.


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