Rick Scott would sign bill in favor of medical marijuana
May 2nd, 2014
10:49 AM ET
4 months ago

Rick Scott would sign bill in favor of medical marijuana

(CNN) – Republican Gov. Rick Scott of Florida said he would sign a bill that legalizes a limited strain of medical marijuana.

The state House passed the measure on Thursday, and the state Senate is expected to pass it on Friday, the last day of the legislative session. Both houses are controlled by Republicans.

"I'm a parent and grandparent. I want to make sure my children, my grandchildren have the access to the health care they want," the Republican governor, who's up for re-election this year, told reporters Thursday. "If it passes I'm going to sign it."

The type of marijuana, which is low in THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana), is aimed to help those suffering from epilepsy, as well as some cancer patients and those with persistent muscle spasms or seizures and who don't respond well to other medications, according to the Miami Herald. Qualified children will also have access to the strain.

Scott's support for the bill came as a surprise for many in Florida, as the governor said in January he would not support a ballot initiative this November that would legalize medical marijuana through a constitutional amendment.

"I have a great deal of empathy for people battling difficult diseases and I understand arguments in favor of this initiative," he said in a statement provided to CNN by a spokesman. "But, having seen the terrible affects (sic) of alcohol and drug abuse first-hand, I cannot endorse sending Florida down this path and I would personally vote against it."

Recent polls in the state show strong, bipartisan support for the amendment.

According to a Quinnipiac University poll released in November, 82% of Florida voters support legalizing medical marijuana, while 16% oppose it. Breaking it down by party lines, 87% of Democrats support it, as did 70% of Republicans.

The use of marijuana for medical reasons is legal in 21 states and the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Former Gov. Charlie Crist, who's challenging Scott this year in the gubernatorial election as a Democrat, has said he supports the ballot initiative.

CNN's Steve Brusk contributed to this report.


Filed under: Florida • Marijuana • Rick Scott
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    Rick Scott is trying everything to try and get votes. He's trailing so bad in the polls right now, he may even endorse Obamacare. Ha!

    May 2, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    --nothing wrong with it when Tobacco, alcohol are legalized, this way drug cartels lose the battle. Period.

    May 2, 2014 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  3. Dean

    Yet another reason Scott is a good governor. He listens to the people and does the right thing (despite his personal views). Obama, take note.

    May 2, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  4. Pete

    Rick Scotts world is crumbling down like other delushional republicans nation wide..He got with Florida seniors thinking he could BS them about the ACA bill being lousey but the seniors actually knew more about what's going on than he did and saw his bluff saying it was great and more people should use it...Too bad republicans your BS is now commonplace and your time as politicians is coming to a common end come November...

    May 2, 2014 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  5. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    This guy only knows how to bow down and kneel in front of the Kock Brothers.

    May 2, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  6. Malory Archer

    Wow, Medicaid Thief the Orphan Maker is REALLY desperate! He's 10 points behind his opponent and is EXTREMELY unpopular! He visited a Senior Center in Boca Raton on Wednesday to discuss how "horrible" the ACA is, and was promptly put in his place by the seniors who told him he was barking up the wrong tree. Not surprisingly, he got snippy with them and spouted a few more derogatory anti-"Obamacare" lying points before storming off in a huff!

    May 2, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  7. Malory Archer

    Dean
    Yet another reason Scott is a good governor. He listens to the people and does the right thing (despite his personal views). Obama, take note.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yeah, except no. He says whatever he thinks will get him votes, then does whatever he wants, Floridians be damned.

    May 2, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. Malory Archer

    He visited a Senior Center in Boca Raton on Wednesday to discuss how "horrible" the ACA is....

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Forgot to mention: There isn't a single resident in Boca Raton who qualifies as one of those "47 percenters" trashed by the 2012 also-ran.

    May 2, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. Silence DoGood

    @Jeff Brown in Jersey
    This guy only knows how to bow down and kneel in front of the Kock Brothers.
    ----------
    Not so funny. The Koch funding and interest in the Tea Party way back was to bolster the tobacco interests of theirs. Maybe they want to branch out. Latest Koch political manipulation. Remember, it is not about politics or belief or country or.....

    May 2, 2014 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  10. Dead Bear

    I find this an interesting stance from a man who's wife and her company made money off of drug testing welfare recipients on behalf of the state.

    May 2, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. Sniffit

    "I find this an interesting stance from a man who's wife and her company made money off of drug testing welfare recipients on behalf of the state."

    It was his company really. They put it in her name when he ran for office.

    May 2, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. Dean

    Malory Archer

    Dean
    Yet another reason Scott is a good governor. He listens to the people and does the right thing (despite his personal views). Obama, take note.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yeah, except no. He says whatever he thinks will get him votes, then does whatever he wants, Floridians be damned.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    That's Charlie Christ you're thinking of...try to keep it straight.

    May 2, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |