Florida Vets Fight Lawmakers Over Medical Pot

Veterans are pushing back against a proposal being pushed by House leaders that would limit the amount of THC in medical marijuana, an effort they say is not based on science and could be harmful to vets with PTSD.

House Speaker José Oliva has called the proposed 10-percent cap on THC, the euphoria-inducing component in cannabis, a priority, but Senate leaders have remained skeptical about the need for such a move. Smokable cannabis now being sold by the state’s medical marijuana treatment centers has potency of as high as 30 percent.

Senator Jeff Brandes, who served in Iraq and has long been an advocate of medical marijuana, warned Tuesday that capping THC levels would make life worse for many veterans already struggling to cope.

“Limiting THC would reduce the amount of medical effectiveness of cannabis and would cause many veterans to rely on unsafe, untested options, including moving to the illicit market to manage their needs,” Brandes said.

A constitutional amendment, approved by more than 71 percent of Florida voters in 2018, legalized medical marijuana as a treatment for a broad swath of conditions, including PTSD.

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