Marijuana public hearing reveals frustration

- Medical marijuana became legal in Florida last month, but the state is still getting feedback on implementing the rules.

Around 200 people showed up at the Florida Department of Health listening session in Kissimmee on Wednesday.  Many say the rules need to be changed.

Among the crowded room, some were caregivers and others are patients. They said they were fed up, because they can't get the medical marijuana they need.

"I'm concerned about waiting so long to get medicine," said Mark Wachowiak, who has a spinal injury from a car accident. "There's cancer patients that can't get anything."

Theresa Merriam says her daughter has epilepsy and is suffering, because she can't afford it either. She spends $200 for the medicine every three weeks.

"I want to know why we only have seven growers. Seven growers to me as a mom means our cost is going to be a lot higher. "

The Office of Compassionate Care Director Christian Bax says seven dispensaries sell medical marijuana around the state, they're keeping a close eye on the physicians ordering it for their patients.

"We recognize that this is a transition period between when the constitutional amendment went into effect and if and when the legislature passes a law when that goes into effect."

Dr Joseph Rosado says the 90-day waiting period isn't working his patients. He and others want to see changes, before it's too late.

"I have over 100 patients waiting for me to recommend medical cannabis to them. Assuming they don't end up like 12 of my patients who passed away before the 90 days were up."

Wachowiak is trying to hold on.

"It's preventing the medicine from getting to the people who need it."

If you want to voice an opinion, log on to Floridahealth.gov or another workshop takes place in Tallahassee on Thursday.

 

 

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