Florida for Care Applauds Senate Bill 528; Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Legislation Filed by Republican Sen. Jeff Brandes

Tallahassee, FL—(ENEWSPF)—January 26, 2015. Today Florida for Care applauded the filing of Senate Bill 528, a piece of comprehensive medical marijuana legislation drafted and filed by Senator Jeff Brandes, the Republican representing District 22. “We are very excited to see Sen. Brandes file this important piece of legislation. Sen. Brandes has taken a courageous step in service of making the voice of Floridians heard on this issue”, said Ben Pollara, Executive Director of Florida for Care.

One such voice is that of Sheriff Jim Manfre (Flagler County) whose mother suffered from cancer, “I’m very encouraged by Sen. Brandes’ bill. As a sheriff and as the son of a cancer survivor, responsible, comprehensive, medical marijuana legislation is critically important to me. I hope my fellow sheriffs will see this bill in the same light and work towards consensus on this issue which is deeply personal to many Floridians, as it is to me.” 

The bill is considerably more comprehensive than previously passed Senate Bill 1030, which allowed only for a low-THC, high-CBD strain of marijuana that would primarily help those suffering with epilepsy and other seizure disorders. “While SB 1030 was monumental in that our legislature-for the first time- recognized marijuana as medicine, it simply did not help all sick and suffering Floridians in the way that Sen. Brandes’ bill would, if passed,” stated Dan Rogers, Director of Legislative Affairs for Florida for Care.

The bill has been identified by many as an alternative to a constitutional amendment in 2016. Pollara stated, “The message we heard again and again was that medical marijuana should become law through legislation rather than constitutional amendment, Sen. Brandes’ bill appears to be a significant step towards accomplishing that goal.”

Florida for Care will spearhead legislation in March of 2015 in Tallahassee, setting the standard for what the state’s medical marijuana 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.