UF, Florida's Land-Grant University, Could Lead the Way in Cannabis Innovation

By: Rep. Dave Kerner | Posted: February 26, 2014 3:55 AM
Dave Kerner

Rep. Dave Kerner

Florida has a unique opportunity to lead the way in cannabis research at our land-grant university, the University of Florida.

With so much attention being given to the proposed constitutional amendment allowing licensed Florida physicians to recommend the medical use of marijuana by qualified patients, we believe that our land-grant university must respond with adequate research to ensure the safety and efficacy of cannabis in safe, effective forms like oils, pills and creams.

As the University of Florida's Drug Policy Institute acknowledges, the future of medical marijuana lies in its individual components that can be isolated and delivered in a nonsmoked manner.

Further research and development of these various cannabis extracts provide our land-grant university with the opportunity to work with growers, scientists, medical doctors and patients in a safe and regulated environment as they study the efficacy of these derivatives in treating a wide variety of diseases.

We want a doctor to feel confident in recommending a cannabis-derived medication to a patient. We also want the patient to feel comfortable knowing that what they are ingesting has been tested for efficacy and is free from harmful additives and substances.

We are encouraged by the work under way at New York University in beginning clinical trials of cannabidiol or CBD in children with epilepsy. We're also encouraged by interest from the University of Massachusetts to study how cannabis may assist our veterans in dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Expedited cannabis research presents an incredible opportunity for our land-grant scientists and researchers to work with our doctors to bring safe and effective therapies to patients across the world.

We strongly encourage our land-grant university, UF, to tell state lawmakers what we can do to spur this type of research and development of cannabis-derived therapies.

If the proposed constitutional amendment has taught us anything, it's that expedited research and development is needed to advance this growing area of interest in cannabis' therapeutic properties. Neither the federal nor the state government should stand in the way of advancements in medicine.

Rep. Dave Kerner, D-Palm Springs -- with Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation -- wrote this for Sunshine State News.

Tags: News, Columns

Comments (8)

10:40PM FEB 26TH 2014
The authors of this are both Dems, thus fall into the catagory of good guys, with good hearts. It is Dems who have presented Medical Marijuana bills every year for the last several years, along with bills to restore civil rights to exfelons. Both show compassion and respect for their fellow Floridians. IFAS should lead the way in the new Florida MM ag sector and UF has the medical expertise to work with new therapies. Fair Warning. There may well not be a magic pill. MM may well need to be smoked, with little risk to the user, to get the full range of compounds. Neverless, the form of intake must not be dictated. Patients must be allowed to choose their own method and quanity.
12:53PM FEB 26TH 2014
Wait, a state rep who is intelligent, cogent, and has vision. Is this young man a Florida rep???
Jim Phillips
11:37AM FEB 26TH 2014
Nancy, thank you for providing this vital information. Next question; can the bill's introduction be delayed until research is complete?
10:49PM FEB 26TH 2014
Jim, I hate to be the explainer, especially as I am fairly certain you will not like the explanation. Unlessthe the Feds re-classify marijuana no legal research can be done. For UF to do anything now would put them an risk of arrest and prison. The Univerisity would be at risk as well, especially ALL federal funds. Until a State Law, in Florida, is passed that will allow the cultivation and research it can not be done. Please support Amendmend #2 as this opens the door for wideranging research in ALL varities of marijuana in every possible way. Thank You
8:41AM FEB 26TH 2014
This column is spot on! As a patient of the Veteran's Administration I see many of my brother and sister veterans who suffer from so many injuries and diseases, all of which causes some great pains. Many elected people simply do not understand, or are not aware how various illnesses cause pain. Let's just try one; diabetes. Painful? You bet. Not just from having to give yourself your own insulin shot two or three times daily, but from the almost certainty of the development of neuropathy, a painful reactin from diabetes affecting mostly legs and feet. It causes numbness AND pain as various nerves will send a shocklike pain through your legs all the way to a toe. Doesn't matter which toe because each one will receive that shock eventually. Almost a relief that there was an actual "feeling" in your foot, but the pain accompanying it is sometimes close to unbearable. The VA doctors, not wanting to create a drug dependency amongst veterans, will sometimes issue prescriptions for other, similar pain relievers such as Gabapentin which veterans quickly become adapted to. So they continue facing the pain without much relief. Our elected officials MUST realize that cannabis is a hope for actual relief of the pain. We all realize the pain will NEVER go away for good, so why not allow those needing the relief cannabis promises, to have it? This State is a majority of senior citizens who have various illnesses and diseases, so is it really wrong to allow a treatment which truly works? I don't think so, and I only hope the Florida legislature will agree!
9:56AM FEB 27TH 2014
I am sorry, but, as a diabetic who injects himself daily, if you need drugs to get through that experience, you have far deeper problems. Th eproponents of this are always to busy sampling the wares to consider the "unintended consequences" as the Governor in Colorado is now warning about.
10:55PM FEB 26TH 2014
Mark. I am so sorry to also inform you of the evil side. Even when Florida passes a MM law, it will have no effect on the VA. That will require a change on the federal level. I hope you will vote Yes on Amendment #2, then rally to change the federal law. Thank You
10:01AM FEB 27TH 2014
Good Point Dean....IT IS STILL ILLEGAL under Federal Law. IT IS A VERY BAD IDEA TO PREACH OPEN BREAKING OF THE LAW. That is what has brought us the King Obama and his prince Holder. They will not always be there and everyone who wants to move us into the realm of marijuana like Colorado and Washington (this is the first step) will rain doen horrible consequences on some family who did not stop to think an relied on elected officials (and lawyers like JOhn Morgan) pushing an illegal agenda. In Morgans instance for purley selfish and greedy intentions. "For the People" that has got to be one of the cruelest lies a lawyer has ever spoken.

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