Lawmakers' inaction frustrates mom waiting on medical marijuana for child

Lawmakers haven't worked out process for people to get, use medical marijuana

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – A mother is upset and frustrated because lawmakers haven't worked out the process for people to get and use medical marijuana.

Voters approved it overwhelmingly, but lawmakers haven't worked out any of the details.

Frustrated and desperate families are calling on Florida lawmakers to convene a special session and work out the rules.

Anneliese Clark loves her daughter and she's literally begging lawmakers to implement procedures for producing and distributing medical marijuana in the state.

Christina Clark's condition produces seizures, and her family searched everywhere for a solution.

"The only thing I've ever seen work is medical cannabis when we gave it to her," Anneliese Clark said. "We started three years ago, and it's in the last three years she's had more seizure-free days than in her entire 12 years of her life on the pharmaceuticals."

Anneliese Clark said she had to take her daughter to another state in order to get treatments, which she doesn't have access to now.

In the meantime, Florida voters approved Amendment 2 last year with 71 percent of the vote.

Local Sens. Aaron Bean and Audrey Gibson agree with the idea of a special session to iron out the rules.

"I think there needs to be a reasonable number but should we get it done? We need to get it done, whether it's a special session or we're going to be in committees," Bean said. "We're coming back in committee in September."

"I'm in favor of a special session because 71 percent of the people voted for the amendment," Gibson said. "They want access and we need to figure that out."

Anneliese Clark said the impact of not figuring it out is clear in Christina Clark.

"I'm already seeing the results of that. She has deteriorated," Anneliese Clark said. "She's having seizures again because I don't have choices and options with knowledgeable people to guide me through caring for her like I did when I took her to one of those other states ... I don't want to move. I don't want to change my ZIP code. And I don't want to break the law. I just want to be able to take care of my child."

The Senate president, speaker of the House or the governor can call for a special session on the issue. If lawmakers don’t reconvene, it would fall to the Department of Health to compose the rules.

Two years ago, that happened with medical marijuana and led to lawsuits and ultimately no relief for patients.

About the Author: