Calls for special session for medical marijuana
PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. (CBS 12) —
Despite Florida voters overwhelmingly making medical marijuana legal last November, state legislators haven't set rules to regulate it. So now, advocates are calling for a special session.
Ava Pence 10-year-old daughter Meredith has epilepsy.
She depends on medicinal marijuana to help keep her daughter’s seizures under control.
"If they lived my life for one day, they would go back to Tallahassee with a renewed sense of urgency," Pence said.
It upsets her that lawmakers could not come to agree on how to regulate it.
"It is incredibly frustrating. They don’t live in my house. They don’t sit in an intensive care unit with me and my daughter. They don’t listen to my daughter’s frustration when she cannot do things other kids can do," Pence said.
There are calls for lawmakers to hold a special session after the house and senate failed to pass a bill, after not being able to agree on how many retail dispensaries a medical marijuana treatment center could operate.
If a special session isn’t held, the department of health would be responsible for writing the guidelines and have them implemented by fall.
Reports indicate there are concerns, because the department has already been criticized for a draft of rules that many felt limited the number of qualifying conditions, and put tighter restrictions on how soon patients could receive treatment.
Marijuana advocates worry this could lead to legal disputes.
"There are people who have needs, there are people who are suffering, and somehow the individual has gotten lost in all of this," Pence said.
Something that may hold this up is cost, and it all depends on how long the special session would be.
For instance, in 2015, a special session on the budget lasted about nine days, and cost taxpayers about $650,000.