In Florida, qualifying patients can obtain a medical marijuana prescription—but some state lawmakers don’t want them getting too high.
On Friday, Republican state Sen. Gayle Harrell filed an amendment banning medical marijuana with THC levels exceeding 10 percent potency for patients under the age of 21. According to the Miami Herald, Florida’s medical cannabis law currently “places a limit on the amount of THC in edible products only, which may only contain 10 mg of THC per serving and 200 mg in total,” levels that are “much higher than what most patients would normally consume.”
“I have been very concerned about this,” Harrell told the Miami Herald. “You’re seeing increasing percentages of THC in marijuana. This is not your granddaddy’s marijuana from the ‘60s.”
More than 70 percent of Florida voters approved a measure in 2016 to legalize medical marijuana. John Morgan, a Florida attorney who helped finance that campaign, told the Herald that the 10 percent cap on THC is nothing more than “an attempt to help the pharmaceutical industry.”
“Are they banning Oxycontin levels to people 21 and under? Are they banning Percocet or Xanax?” Morgan said. “The opioid epidemic was created on the backs of our children.”
Cannabis Law Reform In The Sunshine State
Lately, there have been growing signs that Florida lawmakers and voters are ready to take weed reform even further.
Several Florida cities have decriminalized marijuana, and a Democratic legislator introduced a bill last year to do the same (although that effort was unsuccessful). A group spearheaded an effort to get a recreational marijuana proposal on this year’s ballot in Florida, though that bid fell short. The group, Make It Legal Florida, said that it will instead shift its focus to the 2022 ballot, despite gathering more than 700,000 signed petitions in support of the measure. The group said that the “narrow timeframe to submit and verify those signatures” was the impetus to set its sights on 2022.
Recent polling suggests the group has good reason to be optimistic. A survey from Quinnipiac University in June found that 65 percent of Florida voters supported allowing adults to possess small amounts of pot for personal use—an all-time high in the state.