Florida resident and long time activist Cathy Jordan is taking a stand on Medical Marijuana use. Cathy, a 63 year old woman suffering from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) that she has lived with since 1986, is suing the Sheriff Brad Steube of Manatee County Florida.
On February 15th 2013 the Manatee Sheriff’s office raided Ms Jordan’s home and took 23 medical cannabis plants,which were being grown and cared for by her husband Robert Jordan. The plants were to treat Cathy’s condition.
Both Cathy and Robert co-operated with the Sheriff’s department and confirmed that the growing medical marijuana plants were for Cathy’s medical use.
The police raid of the Jordan’s home came just days after lawmakers introduced legislation, the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act, which sought to authorize the physician-supervised use of cannabis for those diagnosed with serious debilitating conditions. Coincidence that this happened at this time, I don’t think so. It’s appalling to think that the Sheriff’s department is trying to intimate those that are taking action to have marijuana legalized for medical use. Or at least that is sure how it appears to this observer.
After the Manatee County State Attorney’s office reviewed the facts of the case, they issued a memorandum on April 2, 2013 declining to prosecute either Cathy or her husband.
The Manatee County State’s Attorney’s office found that they could not likely overcome a medical marijuana necessity defense, which would be raised by the defendant should a prosecution be initiated.
However, the sheriff’s department has refused to return any of the cannabis that they confiscated from Ms. Jordan during the February 15 raid.
With this lawsuit, the plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment finding that they have a legal right to cultivate and possess medical marijuana under Florida law; an injunction barring the sheriff’s department from making further seizures of medical marijuana from Cathy and Robert Jordan; and an injunction barring the initiation of criminal charges against either of the plaintiffs for their continued cultivation and possession of medical marijuana.
The lawsuit has been filed by Norm Kent of Fort Lauderdale, Chair of the NORML Board of Directors. NORML intends to file a friend of the court brief in the case once the defendants are served.
“This suit embodies NORML’s commitment to patients who have a medical need for marijuana, while simultaneously showing how the responsible use of cannabis by adults should not be restricted by law enforcement authorities,” said Kent. “We intend to prevail in this suit so that seriously ill patients like Cathy no longer have to fear arrest or state interference for simply using their medicine.”
“Cathy Jordan is a courageous woman who has been fighting for many years to legalize the medical use of marijuana for herself and other seriously ill patients,” added NORML Legal Counsel Keith Stroup. “We are proud to stand with Cathy and Robert Jordan to challenge he senseless arrest of patients who use marijuana medically.”
Florida is not among the 18 US states that presently exempt qualified patients from arrest for engaging in physician-authorized cannabis therapy. Florida lawmakers failed to hold hearings or vote on a measure to protect Cathy, and other medical marijuana patients, that was introduced this year.
If you live in the state of Florida, now is the time to show your support. If you are able, get involved and show your support for Cathy and Robert Jordan and the other needy medical marijuana users in the state of Florida.