Florida Medical Marijuana Patient Sues Sheriff for Protection

Florida Medical Marijuana Patient Sues Sheriff for Protection

Lawsuit seeks injunction barring the sheriff’s department from making further seizures of medical marijuana from Cathy and Robert Jordan

BRADENTON, FL — Longtime Florida activist Cathy Jordan, a 63-year-old woman who consumes cannabis to mitigate symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease — a debilitating condition that she has lived with since 1986, filed a law suit Wednesday against Sheriff Brad Steube of Manatee County, FL.

Ms. Jordan alleges wrongful conduct on the part of the sheriff’s department when, on February 15, 2013, they raided her home and confiscated 23 medical cannabis plants, which were being cultivated for her by Cathy’s husband Robert Jordan.

The Jordans were both cooperative when the sheriff’s department arrived at their home, and they acknowledged they were growing medical marijuana for Cathy’s medical use.

The police raid of the Jordan’s home came just days after lawmakers introduced legislation, the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act, which sought to authorize the physician-supervised use of cannabis for those diagnosed with serious debilitating conditions.

After the Manatee County State Attorney’s office reviewed the facts of the case, they issued a memorandum on April 2, 2013 declining to prosecute either Cathy or her husband.

The Manatee County State’s Attorney’s office found that they could not likely overcome a medical marijuana necessity defense, which would be raised by the defendant should a prosecution be initiated.

However, the sheriff’s department has refused to return any of the cannabis that they confiscated from Ms. Jordan during the February 15 raid.

With this lawsuit, the plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment finding that they have a legal right to cultivate and possess medical marijuana under Florida law; an injunction barring the sheriff’s department from making further seizures of medical marijuana from Cathy and Robert Jordan; and an injunction barring the initiation of criminal charges against either of the plaintiffs for their continued cultivation and possession of medical marijuana.

The lawsuit has been filed by Norm Kent of Fort Lauderdale, Chair of the NORML Board of Directors. NORML intends to file a friend of the court brief in the case once the defendants are served.

“This suit embodies NORML’s commitment to patients who have a medical need for marijuana, while simultaneously showing how the responsible use of cannabis by adults should not be restricted by law enforcement authorities,” said Kent. “We intend to prevail in this suit so that seriously ill patients like Cathy no longer have to fear arrest or state interference for simply using their medicine.”

“Cathy Jordan is a courageous woman who has been fighting for many years to legalize the medical use of marijuana for herself and other seriously ill patients,” added NORML Legal Counsel Keith Stroup. “We are proud to stand with Cathy and Robert Jordan to challenge he senseless arrest of patients who use marijuana medically.”

Florida is not among the 18 US states that presently exempt qualified patients from arrest for engaging in physician-authorized cannabis therapy.  Florida lawmakers failed to hold hearings or vote on a measure to protect Cathy, and other medical marijuana patients, that was introduced this year.

  • James

    Cathy Jordan the new Robert Randall?

  • James

    Cathy Jordan the new Robert Randall?

  • Matthew Cunningham

    There is no State in the country that could benefit more from cannabis and it’s time for the morality police to find real crimes, that we pay them for, this is not Saudi Arabia

  • Mike

    The state’s attorney should’ve reviewed the conduct of the sheriff and his deputies in this affair and brought criminal charges against THEM for whatever abuse of authority and unlawful detention are under Florida law.

  • bhonze

    That is so awesome; I hope this sets a precedent for the
    rest of the country.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ron-Klug/100000236845855 Ron Klug

    Shame on you Sheriff Brad Steube of Manatee County, FL….

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  • MaintainTheConstitution

    What if all the Police begin to realize that cannabis is MORE effective than pharma for MANY things. Including cancer. Check this show out. http://cananbisnationradio.com This woman in CA was against marijuana until she was diagnosed with a serious form of RA. Humira almost killed her. She is not doing good on marijuana oil concentrate, and she is treating stage FOUR cancer patients with a 96% success rate. The cancer patients are referred by an oncologist! And yet another Dr. says that from what he has found, EATING FRESH RAW cannabis straight from the garden provides even more healing benefits, and it does NOT get a person high. Some police are smart enough to see through the hypocrisy and find the truth such as those that belong to Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. (LEAP.CC) Slowly more are joining the ranks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rebecca-Forbes/1511791133 Rebecca Forbes

    Cathy is a patient who will pave the way for others in Florida… she, like many of us who are publically vocal about our success with TERMINAL illness is one of Florida’s best, a tireless warrior who not only battles her disease, but she as well battles the system to change these unjust laws. I met Cathy in 2010 when she came to Duke Medicine in NC to ask them to study her, and they refused… I am so proud of her and proud that NORML has stepped up to the plate for a patient that those of us in the movement love Cathy and her family very much… so proud of her!!!!!!! <3

  • http://twitter.com/kimrobinking confused

    How can the police do that. All of the serious crimes being permitted so the police can go to an old extremely sick woman and take her medicine. The police and government are extremely corrupt. They are all whores to the pharmaceutical companies.

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