For the first time, the "medical marijuana necessity defense" has been used to successfully defend an ill patient in a jury trial. The patient, a 50 year old man from Fort Lauderdale, suffers from chronic anorexia which causes nausea, vomiting, weight loss, insomnia and lack of appetite - and had found relief from marijuana that he was growing himself. Michael C. Minardi of the law firm Kelly Kronenberg served as the victorious attorney in this historic case.
This gigantic victory - however - came only after the man's life was upended, as he was arrested and no doubt spent thousands of dollars to defend himself in a jury trial. Additionally, his ability to get access to the medicine he needs was interrupted.
Legislature, if they do not act RIGHT NOW to pass a decent, constitutional medical marijuana bill, will force patients like this into the same situation - on top of wasting tax dollars that will ultimately be used to vindicate the patients.
This case also illustrates the importance of leaving it to doctors and not legislators to enumerate what qualifies as a debilitating condition. Under one version of the proposed law in legislature, this patient would not be protected.
But this doesn’t mean that sick and suffering Floridians are now protected in any way from arrest and prosecution under the law. There is no such protection - people are still being arrested and this had to be won at court. The ability to use the medicine recommended by your doctor should not have to be defended in a court of law.
We should not have to put this back on the ballot and force patients to wait until 2016 or 2017. We should be able to depend on our legislature to see the big picture. So far only a few have.
To that end - we need to celebrate this victory and keep the pressure on:
Please contribute $10, $25, $50 or $100 to United for Care right now to show your support.
United for Care