Last Updated: Sunday, May 17, 2015, 9:38 AM
A Manatee County man who was arrested for growing marijuana in his backyard for his sick wife continues his fight to make medical cannabis legal in Florida.
Despite a proposed law failing in the Florida Legislature and losing a lawsuit in court, Bob Jordan is not giving up.
“This state has already said cannabis is medicine,” Jordan said. “They passed Charlotte’s Web in 23 or 24 other states. That many people can’t be wrong.”
Jordan’s wife, Cathy, has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. She smokes marijuana daily to treat her medical condition.
“It’s a life and death for me,” said Cathy.
Nearly 30 years ago, Cathy was only given three to five years to live. Now at 65 years old, she credits cannabis for still being alive.
In 2013, Bob was arrested for growing cannabis in their backyard. The State Attorney’s Office later ruled that no action could be taken, but failed to say if Cathy could continue to use the drug for medical purposes.
The couple said this has them fearing another arrest in the future.
“They didn’t prosecute us,” said Bob. “They felt they couldn’t overcome that, but that leaves us in gray area. If a new sheriff comes in or a new prosecutor, we’re subject to arrest any time.”
To make sure they are safe, the couple is suing the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office to prove Cathy needs cannabis for medical relief.
Recently, a judge ruled in the sheriff’s office favor. The Jordans said they’re not giving up and are appealing. They’re hoping their case ends up with a jury.
The Jordans said if they’re successful, they think their case could be the turning point for making medical cannabis legal in Florida.
Dave Bristow, a spokesman wiht the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, said they agree with the judge’s ruling and feel they are just doing their job.
Medical marijuana is legal in 24 states.