Why are Florida Nursing Homes Are Prohibiting Medical Cannabis Use?
Nursing homes in Florida are denying senior citizens access to medicinal marijuana. They are regularly denying senior citizens an option for potential, harmless, pain relief.
Of over the 21 million Floridan residents, around 20% of them are over the age of 65. There is, in fact, more citizens over the retirement age than there are minors in the state of Florida. The statistics get even more complicated as their projections show that within twenty years, seniors will outnumber children 2-1. Seniors were one of the main reasons that the state voted to legalize the use of medicinal cannabis in 2016, yet their access to medicine is more restricted than the other western legal states.
More than 70% of Floridians, with an approximate 83% of senior citizens, approved granting medicinal access to marijuana. Senior citizens were a driving force behind legalization and their exemption from access to cannabis in retirement homes is extremely saddening.
Although the scientific research is still in the early stages, users of medicinal cannabis use the drug to treat arthritis, chronic pain, depression, insomnia, Parkinson’s disease and countless other conditions that they associate 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.