Medical marijuana patients stand behind DeSantis' push

Governor wants to drop ban on smokeable pot for patients

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Patients who visit a Jacksonville medical marijuana facility told News4Jax on Friday they are grateful for the support from Gov. Ron DeSantis, who's pushing Florida lawmakers to drop a ban on smokeable pot.

Brandon Keating, who uses medical marijuana as treatment, is one of thousands of patients who are finding pain relief without using pharmaceutical drugs.

"It's helped out a great deal," Keating said. "I was afraid to take the pills that could've killed me."

Keating, who gets his prescription filled at Trulieve, is happy DeSantis supports Amendment 2, which gives patients with cancer, post traumatic stress, AIDS and other debilitating diseases access to medicinal pot. Despite the amendment being approved in 2016, there have been legal delays and pushback on the option to allow patients to smoke marijuana.

DeSantis has said he plans to find a way to resolve the issue, which is currently being reviewed by the 1st District Court of Appeal.

"When over 70 percent of Florida voters vote in favor of medical use of marijuana for people who suffer really serious debilitating conditions that is about as big of a majority that you can get," DeSantis said.

Robert Simmons, a medicinal marijuana consultant, says support from the governor is much needed.

"To me, it's phenomenal," Simmons said. "It's another way to take in a medicine. Everybody can't do oils. Everybody can't do pills and some don't want to do vape pens so it's a more natural way."

Some cannabis advocates wonder if recreational marijuana will soon be legalized. One analyst believes that could take another 10-20 years.

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