Last spring, a south Florida man fought against Florida’s marijuana laws and won his argument to be able to treat himself with medical marijuana.
Jesse Teplicki, a severe anorexic, told a south Florida news channel, this case is about medicinal marijuana and that he was going home to celebrate his legal win by, smoking a “fat one,” as he described it, before dinner. Prior to using medical marijuana Teplicki would get sick simply at the sight of food. However, he has found a way to successfully use the marijuana he grows in his own home as treatment for his condition. Even though marijuana is, for the most part, illegal in Florida, Teplicki’s Attorney Michael Minardi was successful in convincing a jury of Teplicki’s peers that Teplicki was within his rights for growing 46 plants in his home for his medical condition. They found no reason to believe he was selling the plant for monetary gain.
This case is also about the right to choose what happens to our bodies on the inside as well as on the outside. As we embark on an election season, many people are fighting for or against a woman’s right to choose what happens with the health of her body and her right to choose whether to have an abortion or not.
Teplicki had no medical records in ten years which clearly means he has not been seen by a “traditional” doctor in a decade yet he has successfully treated a severe condition without the frustration of using health insurance and bouncing from doctor to doctor. According to the Power To the Patient advocacy group, statistics show most people have gone to an average of 6-7 doctors before they actually get a diagnosis. That is an unacceptable way to treat illness. Even though many are suffering with aches, pains, mental conditions, lupus, sickle cell anemia and more, there is a frustrating system patients must go through in America in order to be diagnosed and treated. Being properly treated is even harder.
Frustration is growing amongst patients and Teplicki is a patient who has power, determination and gained even more after his historic legal battle. Most of all, he had a passionate attorney when it comes to medical marijuana. Attorney Michael Minardi told us this lawsuit seems like it happened so long ago, yet, the groundbreaking trial ended this past March and Attorney Minardi is set to battle yet another similar case on August 24th in Osceola county.
Using medical marijuana for some people is not just a recreational move. There are several reasons why people turn and self-medicate and a broken medical system is where it all starts. Going to a primary care doctor with a problem means that you will most likely be sent to a specialist. It may take a while for a patient to get an appointment because being a new patient to an office means completing more paperwork and getting insurance approval. This can prolong the process patients have as they suffer with whatever medical condition they are battling. Meanwhile, the fight for medical cannabis is going on right alongside the right for women to choose and medical marijuana is looking like it could become legal in 2016.
However, some are arguing that the only amendment to the law that is on the ballot is the one proposed by Attorney John Morgan of Morgan and Morgan. Others are trying their hand at proposing an amendment that claims to encompass a plan that legalizes marijuana that is similar to states like Colorado and California however, those amendments are still in the petition phase while Morgan’s amendment will be on the 2016 Presidential ballot.
As for Teplicki, the jurors in his case clearly sided with him agreeing patients who need medical marijuana may use it to treat their illness.
Teplicki plans to file a civil suit however the judge was sure to stand up in court and tell him not to push his luck and to be careful with his actions in the future.