On Tuesday, January 3, 2017, Florida's Amendment 2, commonly referred to as the medical marijuana amendment, went into effect after voters approved the change in November. While regulations are still not clearly defined-including whether or not smokeable marijuana will be allowed-what we do know is that the new law opens the window for the usage of cannabis for a wider array of medical conditions. The Florida Legislature and Department of Health is still working out the details, but here is what we do know.
1. What it covers.
Although the use of low-THC and non-smoked cannabis was approved in Florida in 2014, it only covered a small array of severe medical conditions such as cancer, chronic muscle spasms, chronic seizures and epilepsy. Under the newly approved amendment, the conditions now also include PTSD, ALS, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease.
2. What it doesn't include.
The amendment specifically applies to low-THC marijuana and not the type commonly used as a recreational drug. This means that it's still illegal to purchase marijuana from a drug dealer.
3. How to obtain a medical marijuana identification card.
In order to obtain a medical marijuana identification card, the individual must be under the care of a licensed physician who has met training requirements with the Department of Health. But that's not all; the patient must be under the care of the doctor for 90 days before they can be issued a medical marijuana card. In addition, you must be 18 years old or have parental consent.
4. Insurance coverage.
Medical insurance companies are not required to provide coverage for medical marijuana, which means that patients will have to pay for the drug completely out-of-pocket.
While clearly there's much to be seen when it comes to regulations surrounding Florida's Amendment 2, it's important to understand that the legal use of medical marijuana will require adhering to specific parameters. However, if an individual is charged with illegal drug use, a criminal defense attorney can help protect his or her rights.
ALEX HARRIS AND JOEY FLECHASA. H. (2017, January 2). Amendment 2 is law. But most Floridians still have to wait to get medical marijuana. Retrieved January 04, 2017, from http://www.miamiherald.com/news/state/florida/article124393619.html
Florida: Here's What to Know as Amendment 2 Takes Effect Today. (2017, January 03). Retrieved January 04, 2017, from https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/florida-heres-know-amendment-2-takes-effect-today