Florida Nursing Homes Are Prohibiting Medical Cannabis Use, Why?
Senior citizens in Florida complain that nursing homes are denying them potential pain relief because they have refused to allow the use of prescribed medical cannabis. The controversy is affecting the residents of long-run care facilities within the state.
Around 20% of the over 21 million residents of Florida are aged above 65 years. The number of retirees and individuals of the retirement age is very high in the state than the number of Children below 18 years. The population statistics have also shown that the elderly will have outnumbered children around 2-1 years in twenty years to come. Seniors are a primary reason why the state voted to legalize use of medicinal cannabis in November 2016, though in a more restricted manner than expected in the western states.
Over 70% of Floridians approved the Amendment 2 and around 83% of senior citizens told pollsters about their support for medicinal cannabis, making them a key driving force behind the legalization effort.
Even though the science is at the infancy stage, users of medicinal cannabis report success after using the drug to treat arthritis, chronic pain, depression, insomnia, Parkinson’s disease and other conditions associated with aging.
Why some nursing homes are prohibiting use of medicinal marijuana
Most nursing homes banning use of medical cannabis cite the federal law and their own drug-free policies. They cite the legal groundings, which employers who refuse to hire and those who fire cannabis patients (purely due to cannabis use) rely upon. They also claim that they created the ban out of caution abundance mentioning fears of losing the federal Medicare and Medicaid funding from the federal government.
As far as seniors will tell you, Florida has no assisting-living facilities that allow use of medicinal cannabis. Some could be already aware that their squanders are already using the drug, which is a circumspect act that is as oppressive as popping a pill. In the state, cannabis has to be vaporized, eaten or applied topically – smoking is illegal.
But the argument that nursing homes risk their federal funding is untrue. As newspapers report, assisted-living facilities in other states like Washington have already constructed policies to permit their residents to use medical cannabis legally. And according to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, nursing homes have not been penalized or lost their financing for doing that. More irony: the state controls medicinal cannabis but eliminates any so-called abuses in the system.
As per Florida’s Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative, the Amendment 2 legislation, qualified patients diagnosed with debilitating medical conditions may legally obtain and use cannabis for medicinal purposes – where the patient is certified by one of the licensed marijuana doctors in Florida.
Patients diagnosed with debilitating medical conditions such as anxiety, anorexia, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), back pain, arthritis, cancer, cachexia, diabetes, glaucoma, epilepsy, HIV/AIDs and Crohn’s disease can access the drug lawfully. Others include those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, lyme disease, muscular dystrophy, seizures, severe nausea and spasticity.
To become a medicinal marijuana patient in Florida, you must be over 18 years old and be a Florida Resident (with valid Florida ID as the proof of residency). You must also obtain legal medical documentation or records for your physician describing your diagnosis and bring them to the marijuana evaluation appointment.