Medical pot panel issues ‘loophole’-closing ideas – Orlando Sentinel

Minors must be accompanied by parents if doctors are going to recommend medical marijuana. State officials enforcing medical marijuana regulations should be sworn law enforcement officers. Felons should be prohibited from becoming licensed caregivers.

Florida For Care, an offshoot of the pro-Amendment 2 campaign committee United For Care, issued a report Wednesday that spells out proposed laws and regulations that the Florida Legislature and Department of Health could adopt to make sure production, sales and use of marijuana would be regulated against widespread abuses.

By issuing the recommendations, the panel is striking back at critics’ charges that if voters approve Amendment 2 legalizing medical marijuana on Nov. 4, the law could be riddled with loopholes.

The report was produced by a committee that includes University of Florida Law Professor Jon Mills, who oversaw drafting of Amendment 2; former Republican state senator Alex Diaz de la Portilla, who opposes the law; Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre; doctors; farmers and patients.

In order for the proposals to work, they would need the backing of the Florida Legislature and Department of Health. Both those organizations are currently controlled by Republicans who raise concerns about possible loopholes in the medical marijuana initiative, so Florida For Care officials predict they would be more than willing to adopt rules at least as strict as the committee proposed.

Among the recommendations:

• Doctors must have previously treated a patient and must determine that the patient suffers from a debilitating medical contrition before certifying that the patient can use marijuana to treat the condition.

• New laws or regulations are not needed to prevent minors from secretly getting medical marijuana because general law already requires parents or guardians to accompany minors if doctors are going to examine them and recommend treatments.

• The Department of Health should establish a “Medical …read more