Legalizing
9:21 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Why Rep. Katie Edwards Supports Medical Marjiuana

Rep. Katie Edwards supports the research of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Rep. Katie Edwards supports the research of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Credit TheNewsHerald/Flickr

Before there was a constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana in Florida on this coming November ballot, there was West Broward Representative Katie Edwards.

She represents parts of Davie, Plantation and Sunrise.

A democrat from District 98 with a background in agriculture and applied economics -- along with a law degree -- Edwards first made a legislative effort to address the possibility of medical marijuana in 2013.

Fully knowing it was a politically risky move -- and also ending up with a bill that went nowhere last year -- she's trying again in this year's legislative session.

"There are very few things in life that scare me -- personally or politically, so when it came to balancing what may be publicly popular... I just... I knew in my gut that this was coming to the state," says Edwards. "And that Florida as a legislature needed to get above the issue and think about what do we want it to look like."

This year, Edwards is a sponsor of HB 843. It's designed to address -- and regulate -- the research and development side of medical marijuana.

"When you've got nearly half of the states now that are moving toward or have already established some form of legalized marijuana, as a policy maker, you want to thrown your hands up in disbelief and say to our federal Congress, 'Why have you not acted at least to move this from a Controlled 1 substance?'"

Hear the full interview below: