First of all, I’ve been getting so many great responses from people for this series in my email; I want to thank you all and tell you to keep them coming. We are getting so many great stories out there and showing people the plight of those who are criminalized for their choice of medicine. And the stories we’ve told so far are just the tip of the iceberg.
We have been getting responses from all over the U.S. and all over the world, hearing from people who otherwise may not have a voice. One of the more interesting emails I received recently came from Michael C. Minardi, the lawyer with the folks at Regulate Florida who are currently trying to get cannabis legalized and regulated like alcohol in the Sunshine State. Below is the press release he sent me detailing the struggle of a medical cannabis patient in Florida named Bridget Kirouac.
Like so many others, Bridget is considered a criminal for her choice of medicine. She goes on trial today, facing 10 years in prison for that choice.
Florida Cannabis Patient Faces 10 Years in Prison
Florida’s first attorney to win a jury-tried medical necessity case represents Bridget Kirouac.
Tampa, FL — September 7, 2016 — Bridget Kirouac is a 54-year-old wife and mother. She’s also a medical cannabis patient who is facing 10 years in prison under Florida law.
Mrs. Kirouac is charged with Cultivation of Cannabis and Possession of Cannabis in excess of 20 grams. She was arrested after detectives followed her home from a hydroponics store in Stuart, Florida. The following day, a search warrant was executed on her residence, where they located approximately 20 plants, as well as harvested cannabis and tincture. At the time of her arrest, Mrs. Kirouac had just recently relocated from Maine (where cannabis is legal) to Florida (where the laws are still convoluted) to live in a climate more conducive to her health, as per her medical records.
Mrs. Kirouac suffers from bone spurs, fibromyalgia, gastritis, herniated discs, IBS, plantar fasciitis, psoriatic arthritis, and several additional conditions. Two defenses will be argued in trial. For the first time in a Florida jury trial, it will be argued that an out of state recommendation should be considered a legal prescription under Florida law as well as per the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Secondly, because she did not bring about her own medical diagnoses, there are no reasonable alternative medications for her to use, and her use of cannabis is less harmful to society than her daily pain and suffering, it will be argued that Mrs. Kirouac has a medical necessity to use cannabis.
Pre-trial motions in the case were previously denied and the State’s plea offers would require probation for Mrs. Kirouac. This would include testing for cannabis, which would prevent her from using the only medical option that she and her licensed physicians have found to effectively minimize the severe symptoms of her illnesses. Her trial will take place at the Martin County Courthouse, 100 E. Ocean Blvd., Stuart, Florida. Trial will begin on September 12, 2016 at 8:30a.m. and will continue until the trial is complete. Public defendant support in the courthouse is encouraged.
Are you a medical marijuana patient who medicates illegally? I want to tell your story (anonymously, if you prefer)! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you our set of questions.
Your story could help others in the same situation and help spread the truth about the amazing abilities of the cannabis plant! Help me spread the word!