(Tallahassee, FL) Former Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp is now advocating on behalf of Florida for Care, the organization pushing for comprehensive medical marijuana legislation.
A separate effort from the new ballot petition introduced last week, Florida for Care's work is purely centered on legislature, and working with both parties to secure access for patients with debilitating medical conditions.
"Former Lt. Governor Kottkamp's vast understanding of legislative politics and his experience leading the Governor's Office of Drug Control will, without question, be a huge boost to our efforts," said Daniel Rogers, Florida for Care's Director of Legislative Affairs.
"I'm proud to work with Florida for Care on this very important mission. We have a unique opportunity to bring something compassionate to the table - and respond to the majority of Floridians - 58% who supported medical marijuana in the last election," said Jeff Kottkamp.
Kottkamp's efforts on behalf of Florida for Care are also personal to him:
"Like so many other Floridians who back medical marijuana, I have my own story. I watched my mother suffer with cancer for 10 years. I think when we have loved ones and think there is any way to alleviate their suffering, how can we not do whatever it takes?" Kottkamp said.
Over 3.3 million people - 58% of voters supported medical marijuana in the 2014 election, garnering roughly 500,000 more voted than Gov. Rick Scott and more than 900,000 than the opposition. voted in favor of medical marijuana in 2014.
Today the Florida Department of Health conducted a public hearing in Orange County on rulemaking for Senate Bill 1030. SB 1030, also known as the Charlotte Web Law, was passed in 2014 by the Florida Legislature and was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott. This bill will allow for a high CBD, low THC form of cannabis known to help people with epilepsy and sever seizure disorders.
The DOH's plan today was to rewrite the rules on how the cannabis oil medicine will be produced and distributed. Florida for Care’s Legislative and Policy Director, Dan Rogers, was present during the hearing.
“While the Department of Health is making progress, this bill is just not comprehensive enough for the vast majority of truly sick and suffering Floridians,” said Mr. Rogers. He continued, “Florida for Care intends to advocate for the passage of a comprehensive bill in the 2015 legislative session that will allow all suffering Floridians who could see relief through the medicinal use of marijuana to realize that relief.”
Florida for Care will be working with members of the legislature to introduce a medical marijuana bill following the broad majority support the issue received in the November 2014 elections.
“A half million more Floridians voted for medical marijuana than voted to reelect our Governor. We need to make sure the will of people is heard and acted upon,” stated Ben Pollara, Executive Director of Florida for Care.
Florida for Care will spearhead legislation in March of 2015 in Tallahassee, setting the standard for what the state’s medical cannabis system should look like and how it can function most effectively. Such a system must balance three core principles: first, safe, affordable patient access; second, a tightly controlled state regulatory structure; and third, a robust, free market commercial enterprise.
Guided by host of experts, including law enforcement, Florida for Care releases Medical Marijuana Safety and Regulation Principles in Advance of the Draft Publishing.
This November, Floridians will decide an issue of critical importance to Floridians suffering from chronic, debilitating, and often excruciatingly painful conditions: whether to allow medical marijuana.Read more
Tallahassee Democrat: The Florida Sheriffs Association is putting its credibility at risk in a misguided campaign to stop patients from getting safe, legal medicinal marijuana when their doctors recommend it. On behalf of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), an organization of law-enforcement officials who once enforced these laws — and as a former Customs special agent — I want you yo know that many of us in law enforcement support providing compassionate care for people suffering with disease.Read more
By Saundra Young, CNN -- States that have legalized marijuana for managing chronic pain have significantly fewer deaths from prescription painkiller overdoses each year, according to a new study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Researchers looked at medical marijuana laws and death certificate data in all 50 states between 1999 and 2010. During that time, just 13 states had medical marijuana laws in place.Read more
THE GAINESVILLE SUN, Bradford County Sheriff Gordon Smith has taken a refreshingly constructive approach to a ballot measure that would legalize medical marijuana in Florida.
Unlike some of his fellow sheriffs, who are stoking fears to try to defeat the measure, Smith is engaging proponents in an attempt to address his concerns.
SUN SENTINEL, by Ben Pollara - Anyone arguing that the constitutional amendment to allow medical marijuana in Florida is inherently flawed because it leaves broad authority to the state Department of Health should look to SB 1030 to see what happens when the department is not given such broad authority to do its job.Read more
DAYTONA BEACH NJ, by Jim Manfre, sheriff of Flagler County - As most readers are probably aware, earlier this year 63 of my fellow Florida sheriffs came out publicly against the medical marijuana amendment on the ballot this November. I was not among them.Read more
By Matthew Peddie, 90.7 WMFE News, Orlando - A commission created to help guide the implementation of medical marijuana law in Florida will meet for the first time this week. Florida for Care says it wants to create a gold standard for medical marijuana in the state.Read more
By Chris Joseph - With the vote on medical marijuana a mere four months away, a group chaired by both those who advocate and those who are opposed to medical weed has formed a Blue Ribbon Commission to provide research, expert opinions, and feedback on a wide range of medical marijuana issues.Read more