PRESS RELEASE: Statement from Ben Pollara on HB 1397

Thursday, March 7, 2017
Contact: Vanessa Satterfield

Statement from Ben Pollara, Executive Director of Florida for Care, on HB 1397:

"I believe Leader Rodrigues was sincere and thoughtful in his approach and authorship of this law, but I can't help but be dismayed by the House proposal. The bill begins by moving backwards in many ways critical to the letter and spirit of the constitution, and in some cases, the existing low-THC Cannabis statute.

In addition to banning smokable and edible marijuana products, HB 1397 bans the vaporization of marijuana oils, except for terminal patients. That is a further restriction than what even the current law allows.

HB 1397 also offers only a modest expansion of the marketplace for medical marijuana treatment centers and again takes a step backwards in doing so. Forget about government not being in the business of picking winners and losers, HB 1397 literally picks losers in the issuance of the first tranche of new licenses proposed in the legislation. The bill calls for the first five licenses issued to be awarded to applicants who previously applied for, but failed to win, a license under the current law.

Today is the start of session and I hope this bill is the start of a meaningful debate in the House over the merits of this approach and that as the bill moves through the process, it applies more free market principals."


Showing 28 reactions

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  • commented 2017-04-24 21:32:50 -0400 · Flag
    As a constituent and cannabis patient, I urge you to VOTE NO on SB 1397! I have written three representatives so far to voice my concerns over the unfairness this bill provides. Overall, it does not support patients rights; however, SB406 is what over 70% of residents voted for – this is the most compassionate bill for patients.

    I think its unfair to ask patients to drive to Tallahassee just to have our voices heard; we live in the information age and these types of meetings can and should be conducted via Facebook live. I have tried to attend every meeting and have had no success in finding anyone who has the time to take off from work to drive to Tallahassee. I am not sure how effective writing and commenting is – if I could physically be there I would because we the patients feel SB1397 is not compassionate at all towards patients needs.
  • commented 2017-04-24 12:49:00 -0400 · Flag
    Please look up CRPS Why is it not on your list? Patients and dr’s should have written the language, not political dick heads like you!
  • commented 2017-04-24 12:47:45 -0400 · Flag
    No! Absolutely No I have pain that’s worse then most cancers, but I wont die. You vote this law in, you’re signing my death sentence!
  • commented 2017-04-24 11:27:22 -0400 · Flag
    We don’t approve! VOTE NO on HB1397!!!!!
  • commented 2017-04-21 22:19:53 -0400
    Stand up 71.% and send a letter to your state rep in Florida about your feedback on H.B.1397..I sent a few.We at 71.3% strong so fight for what you want .
  • commented 2017-04-21 18:09:40 -0400 · Flag
    It is legal in 8 States already, for recreational use. These restrictions are ludicrous for those with medical need. It’s 2017 folks catch up!
  • commented 2017-04-21 18:06:54 -0400 · Flag
    Vote NO on HB1397. This not what the voters wanted when medical marijuana was passed by 71% Floridians that voted. This is a watered down bill that will do nothing to address the medical needs for those needing this medicine. This bill is nothing but an obstructionist opinion based attempt to circumvent the will of the people. Vote NO on HB 1397.
  • commented 2017-04-21 16:55:35 -0400 · Flag
    I urge you to vote NO on HB1397. Also, I implore you to work diligently to speed up the access to this medicine. The delays are unwarranted, other states and countries have experienced no down side by implementing access to medical marijuana and pretending Florida would is simply obstructionist. At this point it is cruel to further deny access to those who need the benefits of this medicine
  • commented 2017-04-21 16:55:34 -0400 · Flag
    I urge you to vote NO on HB1397. Also, I implore you to work diligently to speed up the access to this medicine. The delays are unwarranted, other states and countries have experienced no down side by implementing access to medical marijuana and pretending Florida would is simply obstructionist. At this point it is cruel to further deny access to those who need the benefits of this medicine
  • commented 2017-04-19 11:33:54 -0400
    Every other state is happily pushing through laws to legalize medical marijuana. So why is it that Florida politicians are stalling, making up rules that won’t and don’t help the people who actually need this medicine. We the People of the state of Florida voted overwhelmingly for medicinal marijuana in ALL Forms. Follow the Money people! Back room deals are being made and the 71%ers are getting screwed! Not everyone can get to Tallahassee, We all need to come together and rally in front of every city hall in the state to get Florida politicians out of the reefer madness era.
  • commented 2017-04-19 11:24:10 -0400
    Members of any and all committees who do not do the WILL OF THE PEOPLE, 71%. Should look for another type of work, that is not a job that represents their fellow Americans, and or has anything to do with public service (THE AMERICAN PEOPLE)!!
  • commented 2017-04-19 11:16:36 -0400 · Flag
    Dear Senator vote no HB 1397 totally wrong we voted it in 71% why would we let them have control over the system to to distribute medication when they are against it that’s like winning the war and then surrendering thank you very much senator D Wasserman Schultz
  • commented 2017-04-19 10:41:28 -0400
    This is copy of the email I sent to both my State Representatives: Please send your opinion to your representatives now!

    I recently returned from a vacation to Europe. It is hurtful that the State has not already implemented regulations for access to medical cannabis. Further, I am shocked that the Florida House of Representatives is even considering the backward movement in implementing the access to Medical Cannabis, as described in HB 1397. I know you understand that this measure passed by a 71% majority. Yet HB 1397 appears to be written by those who oppose Medical Cannabis. I’m sure you would not stand for your opposition setting your agenda if you won an election, let alone by the landslide that is 71%.

    The legislation is short sighted and simply wrong based on actual experience and research conducted all over the world. Many places have direct experience with medical cannabis and their experiences are readily available for review. You cannot find a viable problem that was created by allowing access to medical Cannabis. This legislation appears to be attempting to solve problems that simply do not exist. The State legislating specifically who can run these businesses and how many there are, is wrong.

    I urge you to vote NO on HB1397. Also, I implore you to work diligently to speed up the access to this medicine. The delays are unwarranted, other states and countries have experienced no down side by implementing access to medical marijuana and pretending Florida would is simply obstructionist. At this point it is cruel to further deny access to those who need the benefits of this medicine. "
  • followed this page 2017-04-18 17:44:17 -0400
  • followed this page 2017-04-18 03:34:07 -0400
  • commented 2017-04-12 13:23:07 -0400
    I have CRPS TYPE 2 the worst pain disease known to man. it’s ranked higher on the McGill pain scale then cancer. The big difference we don’t die from it. (You can from complications) It’s not listed as a terminal disease but yet, like I said the pain is worse and never subsides! My disease has a nickname it’s called the suicide disease. So I fall through the cracks in the legality of M.M with this bill. I want to go to The Capitol and speak for us, I’ve done it in PA, back in the 90’s when they tried to ban oxycontin for a similar reason. I’ll do it again.
    All united For Care has too do is get me in there, once on the floor in front of the legislature I can talk about pain for hours, the damage done to my own body from them, and by not letting this bill pass as it should in the right way. Many Floridians will be dying from overdosing on cheap Heroin, and God knows what other kinds of street drugs!
  • commented 2017-04-10 14:54:40 -0400
    it doesn’t matter what the people voted for the government is going to do what they want & not what the people voted for thae way it’s looking like is worse than the black market!
    we see who going make out know the people who need it!
  • commented 2017-04-04 15:12:34 -0400
    The government needs to stay out of it it needs to be run thought the states and they trying to state laws on this medicine it didn’t require none they’re making it not for the patient but for the people to make money off of it the rich who wants to invest in making grow sites the day off and can jack the prices up that’s what the holdup is they think they’re fooling somebody that I ain’t and this Governor’s in on it too
  • commented 2017-04-01 07:05:45 -0400
    This is so disheartening – I cannot take any prescription drugs; they have done so much damage to my body that it now rejects them. i WILL BE CALLING REP. RAY RODRIGUES AND SO SHOULD YOU at (239) 433-6501 to voice concerns over legislative fairness to the people. WE THE PEOPLE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS EXTREMELY UNSYMPATHETIC BILL. Have some compassion for the very people you swore to serve by doing the most good for the greatest number – bill 1397 doesn’t even come close to helping patients.
  • commented 2017-03-31 22:16:22 -0400
    SHAME ON UNITED FOR CARE!!! You have no one to blame but yourselves! You could have saved tens of thousands of suffering Floridians if you drafted a law that served their interests. Instead, you decided to write a law VOID OF ANY DETAILS to direct the implementation and regulations. You gave all the power to the Florida State government to come up with the details on implementation. Why? I know you folks aren’t stupid, so why write such a stupid law? SHAME!!!!!!!!!!
  • commented 2017-03-30 15:19:37 -0400
    To all you politicians out there Republican or Democrat you need to come up with a decision what you going to do and stop thinking about how much money you going to take home you know 71% of the people voted it in and you people are still playing games now that we got it passed why are you Dr out there and politicians charging so much $125 to get an ID card so you get medical marijuana and the doctor only sees patients one day a week and I was told that they could do it for me for $200 wow this save me a big 50 bucks you people out there Dr doctors don’t care as long as they get their money I’ll give you a card then you got to pay them and extra $20 a month so you can get your prescription filled what a rip off I guess I’ll continue doing what I have to do they keep the pain that I’m in because I am a wheelchair veteran I’m tired of taking pills that will kill me and a matter of time I rather smoke medical marijuana and not OD for medical marijuana not die for marijuana but you can die from taking too many pain meds they even took off the market diazepam which is another form of a Valium I said it’s killing people all the people that are on the pain meds probably need him no matter which way you look at him I was shot in the drive-by so I got pain and I have a nerve disorder I have a disc disorder and also on top of that deteriorating disc I rather sit and smoke I keep my pain level low and I rather work for a dispensary if somebody’s only to give me a job so need to get yourself together and stop thinking about your pocket.
  • commented 2017-03-30 15:13:20 -0400
    What is taking so long and why is Florida debating on medical marijuana that would help out a lot of people and forget the state out of the deficit it’s sitting in right now they should Legalize It and get it over with everybody else is legalizing it what’s wrong with the governor of this state and the people that voted this in I was one of the people that voted in and still waiting and I don’t see nothing happening what are you people thinking about your pocket before you think about anything else you want to see how much is going to go into a pocket before you even Legalize It All You millionaires out there what are you worried about you got a business you got millions what about the low class people that really need it like the people that served came home now and wheelchairs amputees and you people care about US veterans anymore I don’t know about this year but the politicians need to get off their fannies and make a decision legalized it and stop thinking about your pocket.
  • commented 2017-03-30 00:21:41 -0400
    71% of We the People of Florida voted to legalize medicinal marijuana. Any senator or representative who refuses to do what the people want should step down immediately. They have forgotten who they work for. Vote these idiots out 2018…
  • followed this page 2017-03-29 13:41:05 -0400
  • commented 2017-03-29 12:12:33 -0400
    Wow! What a joke! I have RA, CRPS, Diabetes, and Psoriatic Arthritis,
    What a blow patients who really need this! I guess they want me to go back to 120 legal pain meds a month and destroy my body! Not happening, We gotta turn this around!
  • commented 2017-03-10 06:51:19 -0500
    This bill is insane, we have a genuine natural God given herb that can help man and treat many medical ailments and our government wants to regulate this so we have extremely little access to it. People “follow the money”.
  • commented 2017-03-07 18:04:22 -0500
    Free market…
  • commented 2017-03-07 15:15:40 -0500
    Still stuck in the 20th century…or someones pocket…



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