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Gwen Graham wants special session to enact medical marijuana amendment

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham is calling on the Florida Legislature to return to Tallahassee to do what it failed to do over the past two months – pass a bill enacting legislation for the medical marijuana amendment supported by more than 71 percent of Floridians.

“I watched my husband battle cancer and the sickening effects of chemotherapy. So many patients with cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis and other debilitating diseases could use medical marijuana as a way to treat their pain,” Graham said in a statement. “Floridians spent years begging the Legislature to take action before taking their case to the voters, but once again, the legislature is ignoring them. If the people of Florida give me the honor of serving as governor, their voices will be heard.”

Florida lawmakers announced Friday night that they had failed to pass a bill enacting legislation on legalizing medical marijuana.

Graham’s entry into the gubernatorial race was postponed for several months while her husband Steve Hurm dealt with being diagnosed with prostate cancer. She announce via Twitter a month ago that  he was in full remission, and announced her candidacy last week.

In her statement, the former congresswoman said that the Legislature’s failure to enact a bill to legalize medical marijuana is just the latest example of Republican lawmakers ignoring Florida voters.

“Go back to the lottery, or even more recently, Forever Florida, and all you see is the legislature playing shell games with voters. Sadly, no one should be shocked they’ve turned a blind eye to Floridians facing chronic diseases,” Graham said.

Graham also noted that for the third year in a row, the legislature is misappropriating funds for Florida Forever, a land and water conservation program supported by more than 74 percent of Florida voters in 2014.

“If my kids acted like the legislature when I told them to clean their rooms, they’d still be grounded,” Graham said. “As governor, I will force the Legislature to fulfill their responsibilities, including calling them into special session if needed, to enact medical marijuana legalization.”

Graham is running against Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Orlando businessman Chris King for the Democratic nomination.

Another potential Democratic candidate, John Morgan, announced in a series of tweets on Saturday that he also wants the Legislature to return in a special session to address the medical marijuana issue. Morgan was one of the leaders in getting Amendment Two passed last fall.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam announced his candidacy last week, and will officially hold an event making his announcement official this week in Bartow.

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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