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Florida Senator Urges Free Medical Marijuana Cards For Veterans

Should veterans receive free medical pot cards?

by High Times | Updated on 2.8.19

The expansion of cannabis access is moving forward by fits and starts in Florida. But for one state senator, a key group of the state’s residents are still being underserved by current regulations. On Wednesday, Gary Farmer, a Broward County Democrat, pushed for the elimination of the $75 annual fee for medical marijuana identification cards for veterans.

In front of the state Senate’s health care appropriations committee, Farmer expressed his dismay that Florida’s 1.5 million vets “should have to pay for the right for the eligibility to get legal medical treatment,”  reports Orlando Weekly.

The state senator reminded the committee of the myriad costs that veterans must navigate in the state’s medical system, including fees for doctor visits and treatment costs.

“So many of our veterans are just struggling so much and I think many of them, frankly, aren’t even aware that this alternative treatment is there,” said Farmer.

His remarks come at a time when Florida officials are pushing to widen access to the state’s medical marijuana program, which was overwhelmingly approved by voters back in 2016. Governor Ron DeSantis has issued an ultimatum to legislators to remove a ban on smokable medical cannabis by March 15.

On Feb. 2, a Leon County circuit judge formally upbraided state health officials and legislators for a cap on cannabis dispensaries that she said, “erects barriers that needlessly increase patients’ costs, risks, and inconvenience, delay access to products, and reduce patients’ practical choice, information, privacy, and safety.”

Farmer’s recent remarks underline the fact that veteran access to cannabis is no inconsequential issue. Studies have confirmed that US veterans are far more likely than the general population to seek medical cannabis and support the widening of patient access to the federally restricted drug.

Veterans’ attraction to medical marijuana is not surprising, given that they are more likely to suffer from chronic pain and many of the other health conditions that have been proven to improve with cannabis usage. The US Department of Veterans Affairs has found that between 11 and 20 percent of Iraq War veterans suffer from PTSD, which studies have suggested may be alleviated by the use of cannabis.

Despite the fact that some veterans have literally been the first in line to buy marijuana when their state legalized the drug, cannabis access for many is fraught. In Missouri, veteran health officials recently clarified that given federal prohibition, veterans receiving VA care are at risk of losing their benefits entirely. In Washington, a bi-partisan duo of congresspeople sponsored legislation last year that would have supported vets seeking cannabis access.

Farmer also noted to the committee that, should veteran access to medical cannabis expand, vets may be less likely to seek opioid pain medications that have a high potential to be abused. The White House’s Secretary of Veteran Affairs Robert Wilkie has indicated that veterans are twice as likely to die from a drug overdose involving an opioid. The national military health system has devoted efforts in recent years to combat the issue.

The post Florida Senator Urges Free Medical Marijuana Cards For Veterans appeared first on High Times.

High Times

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(54)
  • burrkitty
    Voted Yes
    02/08/2019
    ···

    Just legalize it already. All these twisted shenanigans are wasted effort. We know that all the lies they told us were lies. Just give up the charade.

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  • SneakyPete
    Voted No
    02/08/2019
    ···

    JUST A FYI FOR OUR DEMOCRATIC & SURROGATES HERE It was Gary Farmer, a Broward County Democrat, and NOT a Republican, who’s pushing for the elimination of the $75 annual fee for medical marijuana identification cards for veterans. SneakyPete........... 2*8*19..........

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  • Azrael
    Voted Maybe
    02/09/2019
    ···

    Why is a card necessary? I don’t carry a card for any prescriptions Sounds like a money grab that affects and effects everyone Eliminate the card

    Like (3)
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  • Baron
    02/11/2019
    ···

    good idea let’s have more.

    Like (1)
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  • I.Got.an.Idea...
    Voted Yes
    02/08/2019
    ···

    What is purpose of a fee for card? Republicans think they need to make a profit on every single item or accessory of an item. This is appropriate legislation.

    Like (7)
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  • TuckerWantsLiberty
    Voted No
    02/08/2019
    ···

    If he issues them and pays for them, power to him. Just don't obligate me - a person who was against sending the troops over there to get maimed and come home with PTSD in the first place - to pay for the consequences of others' misanthropic and troop-hating decisions.

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  • Mark
    Voted Maybe
    02/08/2019
    ···

    Yeah make it easier for all Americans to get stoned . That way we all won't be able to know how CURRUPT our government both Republicans and Democrats and deep state DOJ and FBI truely are.ive lost all trust in our leaders.each and every day they make themselves out as a bunch of clowns in a circus. Oh the Circus will continue now that the democrats are in charge of the house .never ending drama !!! Wasting tens upon hundreds of millions of our money . All for political agendas

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  • Guy
    Voted Yes
    02/08/2019
    ···

    Of course!

    Like (4)
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  • OlderNWiser
    Voted Yes
    02/08/2019
    ···

    Those who risked their lives and went where told for this country deserve so much more than they are receiving. Gratitude like apologies must be shown with action—not shouted from the rooftops with no action. Pain, PTSD, adjustment can all be issues for veterans. Yes.

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  • William
    Voted Yes
    02/08/2019
    ···

    Veterans should receive free medical marijuana card. Support this legislation.

    Like (3)
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  • Riley
    Voted Yes
    02/09/2019
    ···

    Absolutely! Medical Marijuana should be available to all citizens as needed.

    Like (3)
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  • Tim
    Voted Yes
    02/08/2019
    ···

    Reduce PTSD and reduce opioid use among vets. This should be the least we could do to help needing vets

    Like (3)
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  • Marylynn
    Voted Yes
    02/09/2019
    ···

    Just legalize it and stop all the bullshit. Send a clear message to Big Pharma that we're not going to buy your toxic drugs anymore and will seek safer alternatives like marijuana.

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  • Nick
    Voted Yes
    02/08/2019
    ···

    It has been proven to help with PTSD and anxiety, and as with many services offered to vets in appreciation of their service, this should be extended as well.

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  • Joey
    Voted Yes
    02/08/2019
    ···

    Tackle the opioid epidemic, get vets alternative, beneficial, and cheaper medicinal choices. Also look at legalizing in Texas, people dont steal broken lawnmowers for a marijuana fix...but they do for heroin and opiate addiction.

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  • Deirdre
    Voted Yes
    02/08/2019
    ···

    This is great but you all need to also realize the many patients who cannot afford MMJ. I believe making the insurance companies honour the fact that MMJ is a medication and needs to be offered as such with insurance so all can be healthier

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  • Jim2423
    Voted Yes
    02/08/2019
    ···

    It is better than using opioids.

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  • Carrie
    Voted Yes
    02/09/2019
    ···

    Vets should have the best.

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  • Ray
    Voted Yes
    02/12/2019
    ···

    Believe it or not pot helps more than some pharmaceutical do without the side affects. Veterans need and deserve every bit of help any medicine (pharma& holistic) that will help them.

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  • Joel
    Voted Yes
    02/12/2019
    ···

    WEED FOR WARRIORS.

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  • Gwyn
    Voted Yes
    02/11/2019
    ···

    Yes, veterans could benefit from medical marijuana use.

    Like (1)
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