Shiner Law Group understands that there is much confusion surrounding Florida’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry in the wake of enactment of Amendment 2. The passage of the law by 71 percent of Florida voters authorized more potent marijuana for a wider array of medical conditions. While “420” remains a Class I controlled substance under federal law, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has indicated it will make enforcement of cannabis laws a low priority in states that legalize medical marijuana and among patients who use the substance. However, sufficient rules and controls must be adopted to preempt criminal liability. The ambiguity and confusion that encompasses the “420” industry extend even to the origins of this designation.
The origin of the term “420” is the subject of a wide array of conjecture and myth. Origin stories involving the “420” term cover a broad spectrum that includes:
- The number of active chemical components in cannabis
- Numbers in a Bob Marley song multiplied
- Tea time in Holland
- Something to do with Hitler’s birthday
- 420 as a police designation for marijuana-related criminal offenses
Pot smokers around the world celebrate April 20th (4/20) day with smoke outs even though they cannot separate fact from fiction regarding the origins of the term. For example, the claim that the term 420 originated in the San Rafael, CA area in the late 70s as a police call signal for a marijuana crime is popular but only partially true. The theory is that people began suggesting they go “420ing” together based on the local law enforcement code designation.
The Huffington Post investigated this account but verified the law enforcement code was not connected to the term. Rather, a group of San Rafael high school boys who referred to themselves as the Waldos coined the term. The teens adopted the name because they lingered around a wall. They discovered that a member of the Coast Guard was not going to be able to harvest his crop near the Point Reyes Peninsula Coast Guard station.
The Waldos planned to meet after their sports practice at 4:20 to take some of the marijuana plants. Their account was substantiated by a 420 flag from the early 70s and multiple letters with 420s references in letters with early 70s postmarks. The boys told the Huffington Post they began using the term to arrange pot smoke outs without alerting their teachers and parents.
Regardless of the origin of the terms 420, Amendment 2 specifically authorizes doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients afflicted with specific medical conditions that include:
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Crohn’s Disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Along with these enumerated health conditions, licensed physicians can prescribe medical marijuana to patients diagnosed with “other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated.”
Amendment 2 offers a treatment alternative to other drugs like prescription pain medications associated with serious side effects that include chemical dependency. Businesses in the medical marijuana industry also will be able to offer such benefits to patients, but they will need to comply with rules and regulations that merit low enforcement priority by the federal government.
Our Florida 420 medical marijuana attorneys offer legal advice and representation to businesses navigating the murky waters of compliance with rules and regulations enacted pursuant to Amendment 2. We are an industry leader that represents medical marijuana businesses, so we invite you to contact us at 1-844-WEED-LAW or through our website at http://844weedlaw.com.