Florida Doctors Weigh Legal Risks of Medical Marijuana

While many doctors in Florida prepare to start prescribing medical marijuana to patients, there are some medical professionals who have reservations because they say the state’s new cannabis laws lack clarity.

State records show about 630 doctors in Florida are permitted to recommend medical marijuana and 258 are in South Florida. Miami physician George Tabi is one of the concerned doctors who are worried that medical marijuana could jeopardize their professional careers.

“It makes me uncomfortable because now I am working in a situation where I don’t know what legal ramifications could be held against me. So, I do not want to move in that way. I want to move comfortably as a physician,” said Dr. Tabi.

The South Florida doctor passed a state mandated eight-hour training course, but he says he is still somewhat confused by the state medical marijuana law, which was approved by voters in November.

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Although there are many questions regarding the legality of medical marijuana, lawmakers in Tallahassee are considering measures aimed at moving the cannabis program forward and faster. The state legislature has not indicated whether it will consider offering more clarity in the medical marijuana laws.

Patients and parents of young patients complain that red tape and the slow start have worked against them. Dr. Tabi says he feels frustrated that he can’t recommend medical marijuana for his patients.

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“I want them, my patients, to be able to have their symptoms, have their treatment for them and feel comfortable about it,” said Dr. Tabi.