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Florida Marijuana Trial Rescheduled for After Amendment 2 Vote

United for Care has collected 900,000 signatures for a Florida 2016 medical marijuana ballot.
United for Care has collected 900,000 signatures for a Florida 2016 medical marijuana ballot.

The trial of a Florida man who says he needs marijuana for health reasons will now take place after voters decide on Amendment 2, but the scheduling change does not appear connected to the marijuana ballot initiative.

Advocates for medical marijuana say Amendment 2 would help people like Jesse Teplicki. He faces a felony charge for possession of the drug, which he says is for anorexia.

Ben Pollara is with United for Care, the group behind Amendment Two. He says, "I hope Mr. Teplicki wins his case, but I hope that the voters of Florida pass Amendment 2 on election day, so that folks like Mr. Teplicki don’t have to go to court to fight for their right to basically follow their doctors’ orders."

Despite that connection, Teplicki’s lawyer, Michale Minardi, says the continuance is to depose a new witness – not wait out the election. Minardi says the next hearing is November 14, and the trial could begin in December.

In some states, anorexia is a qualifying condition for using marijuana, but the American Medical Association opposes its legalization. The group is open to further research but says, right now, marijuana doesn’t meet standards for prescription use.

Additional Resources

Read the text of Amendment 2 here.

The American Medical Association Policy: H-95.952 Cannabis for Medicinal is:

(1) Our AMA calls for further adequate and well-controlled studies of marijuana and related cannabinoids in patients who have serious conditions for which preclinical, anecdotal, or controlled evidence suggests possible efficacy and the application of such results to the understanding and treatment of disease.
(2) Our AMA urges that marijuana’s status as a federal schedule I controlled substance be reviewed with the goal of facilitating the conduct of clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines, and alternate delivery methods. This should not be viewed as an endorsement of state-based medical cannabis programs, the legalization of marijuana, or that scientific evidence on the therapeutic use of cannabis meets the current standards for a prescription drug product.
(3) Our AMA urges the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop a special schedule and implement administrative procedures to facilitate grant applications and the conduct of well-designed clinical research involving cannabis and its potential medical utility. This effort should include: a) disseminating specific information for researchers on the development of safeguards for cannabis clinical research protocols and the development of a model informed consent form for institutional review board evaluation; b) sufficient funding to support such clinical research and access for qualified investigators to adequate supplies of cannabis for clinical research purposes; c) confirming that cannabis of various and consistent strengths and/or placebo will be supplied by the National Institute on Drug Abuse to investigators registered with the DEA who are conducting bona fide clinical research studies that receive FDA approval, regardless of whether or not the NIH is the primary source of grant support.
(4) Our AMA believes that effective patient care requires the free and unfettered exchange of information on treatment alternatives and that discussion of these alternatives between physicians and patients should not subject either party to criminal sanctions. (CSA Rep. 10, I-97; Modified: CSA Rep. 6, A-01; Modified: CSAPH Rep. 3, I-09; Modified in lieu of Res. 902, I-10; Reaffirmed in lieu of Res. 523, A-11)

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