The fight isn't over for Florida patients using medical marijuana

The fight isn’t over for Florida patients using medical marijuana

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FLORIDA (WWSB) – Medical Marijuana is legal for thousand of patients in Florida thanks to the passing of Amendment 2, but for many the fight isn’t over. South Sarasota Mom, Debbie Ezelle’s 14-year-old Alexis is non-verbal and suffers from seizures, a metabolic disorder and autism. For years she has relied on several prescription medications, but with the expansion of medical marijuana Debbie’s daughter Alexis joined thousands of other patients using medical cannabis. "It was like she came back to life," says Debbie Ezelle. "Her personality was starting to shine through. There was a child there. It wasn’t just this little zombie that stood in the corner that didn’t want to be touched or talked to…all of a sudden she was interested." The problem now is the medication is too expensive and hard to get. Alexis’ medication costing the family $250 per month for a small bottle of oil. Right now only seven companies are licensed to grow and sell medical cannabis in Florida. Some say the limited availability will ensure tight state control and prevent recreational use, but other say it creates a monopoly and keeps prices high. The supply and demand type circumstances may also push patients into seeking alternative, possibly illegal, sources. Chief Physician of the Compassionate Cannabis Clinic of Venice, Dr. Barry Gordon says, "Its really important to not streamline the process to just deliver one type of cannabis product, but actually a number of different products. So we feel if there are only a few dispensaries that they won’t really develop that broad range of products that might be available to patients in other states." ABC7 reached out to one of the major opponents of expanding licenses, Senator Bill Montford, who said "it’s about ensuring the quality and safety of these new medicines."

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