January 24, 2014

What if Florida Legalizes Medical Marijuana - a Proposed Chapter 893 Statute - Part 1

What if Florida Legalizes
 Medical Marijuana?
This series of posts will explore how Marijuana Laws in the Florida Statutes might be changed should the voters, the courts, and/or the legislature be so inclined. Two questions will be addressed in the proposed language of the law:

1. Who would be eligible to Use Medical Marijuana under the new Florida Drug Law?

2. Where can Marijuana Dispensaries be located in Florida?

Here are proposed provisions on the issues of who and where medical marijuana may be used and/or distributed. Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes  would be amended to read:

The people of the State of Florida hereby find and declare that the purposes of the Compassionate Use Act of 2014 are as follows: 

Who would be eligible to Use Medical Marijuana under the new Florida Drug Law?

To ensure that seriously ill Floridians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes where that medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the person's health would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief. 

To ensure that patients and their primary caregivers who obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes upon the recommendation of a physician are not subject to criminal prosecution or sanction. 

To encourage the federal and state governments to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana. 

Nothing in this section shall be construed to supersede legislation prohibiting persons from engaging in conduct that endangers others, nor to condone the diversion of marijuana for nonmedical purposes. 

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no physician in this state shall be punished, or denied any right or privilege, for having recommended marijuana to a patient for medical purposes. 

Chapter 893, relating to the possession of marijuana, and Chapter 893, relating to the cultivation of marijuana, shall not apply to a patient, or to a patient's primary caregiver, who possesses or cultivates marijuana for the personal medical purposes of the patient upon the written or oral recommendation or approval of a physician. 

For the purposes of this section, ''primary caregiver" means the individual designated by the person exempted under this section who has consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health, or safety of that person.

If any provision of this measure or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the measure that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this measure are severable.

Where can Marijuana Dispensaries be located in Florida?

(a) This section shall apply to individuals specified in Chapter 893:

(b) No medical marijuana cooperative, collective, dispensary,operator, establishment, or provider who possesses, cultivates, or distributes medical marijuana pursuant to this article shall be located within a 600-foot radius of a school.

(c) The distance specified in this section shall be the horizontal distance measured in a straight line from the property line of the school to the closest property line of the lot on which the medical marijuana cooperative, collective, dispensary, operator, establishment, or provider is to be located without regard to intervening structures.

(d) This section shall not apply to a medical marijuana cooperative, collective, dispensary, operator, establishment, or provider that is also a licensed residential medical or elder care facility.

(e) This section shall apply only to a medical marijuana cooperative, collective, dispensary, operator, establishment, or provider that is authorized by law to possess, cultivate, or distribute medical marijuana and that has a storefront or mobile retail outlet  which   that  ordinarily requires a local business license.

(f) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a city, county, or city and county from adopting ordinances or policies that further restrict the location or establishment of a medical marijuana cooperative, collective, dispensary, operator, establishment, or provider.

(g) Nothing in this section shall preempt local ordinances, adopted prior to January 1, 2015, that regulate the location or establishment of a medical marijuana cooperative, collective, dispensary, operator, establishment, or provider.

(h) For the purposes of this section, "school" means any public or private school providing instruction in kindergarten or grades 1 to 12, inclusive, but does not include any private school in which education is primarily conducted in private homes.

In the next installment - How will Medical Use be defined under the Florida Medical Marijuana Statute?