Florida Slow to Move Forward with Medical Marijuana


Medical marijuana passed in Florida unanimously in last year’s elections. Approved by 72 percent of voters, patients of the Sunshine State eagerly anticipated using medical cannabis for qualifying conditions. But then something else happened. A law passed that made medical marijuana illegal to smoke. Edibles were going to be illegal, but somehow, they made the cut. Products still can’t be made to resemble anything that might attract the attention of a child however.

Florida’s Restricted Approach to Medical Marijuana

Florida’s medical cannabis laws are restrictive…to say the least. Political director for NORML (The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), Justin Strekal, once said that Florida legislators “wanted to pat themselves on the back” over how restrictive they could truly be.

Recent elections proved once again, just how restrictive Florida is when it comes to medical cannabis. Palmetto, a city of less than 13,000 nestled on the Manatee River, became the fifth Manatee County city to ban the sale of medical marijuana.

5 Florida Cities Ban Medical Marijuana

Before 2017 elections, four other cities in Manatee County already had medical marijuana bans set in place. These cities include: Bradenton, Holmes Beach, Anna Maria, and Bradenton Beach. The recent ban of medical marijuana in Palmetto solidified the shut down on any medical marijuana throughout Manatee County.

The ban comes as a blow to residents who voted to allow medical marijuana in Palmetto. 70 percent of voters in Palmetto voted for the legalization of medical marijuana. Bradenton City Council and commission members say the ban might be a temporary move. The bans, they say, are dependent upon lawsuits filed against the state, which includes the ban on smoking medical marijuana.

Medical marijuana legislation is all over the map. Especially in Florida. According to Strekal, “Florida is near the bottom of giving people what they actually voted for.” What happens with the state’s slow-moving momentum is yet to be seen.