Florida regulators have done far too little to make voter-approved medical marijuana widely available for patients suffering from chronic illnesses. A circuit court judge in Tallahassee ruled last week there is a price for that obstruction, finding that in the absence of state regulations, Tampa’s Joe Redner is legally entitled to grow his own pot for medical use. The ruling applies only to Redner, who has lung cancer. But it’s a victory for medical marijuana patients and their advocates who should not have to wait for a stubborn bureaucracy to get access to medical care that the Florida Constitution allows.
Medical marijuana passed in 2016 with 71 percent of the vote, despite little support and some outright opposition from the state’s elected officials. The Legislature showed no urgency in writing a law to implement the amendment, needing a special session to get it done. Now the foot-dragging is at the Department of Health, which missed its own deadline for creating regulations for patients, doctors and suppliers as prescribed by the amendment. The state’s nearly 100,000 qualifying patients