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Florida: Lou Gehrig’s Disease Patient Sues For Cannabis Protection


medical marijuana patient florida cathy jordanBy Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

Longtime Florida activist Cathy Jordan, a 63-year-old woman who consumes cannabis to mitigate symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS aka Lou Gehrig’s disease), a debilitating condition that she has lived with since 1986, yesterday filed a suit 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. (Florida lawmakers failed to hold hearings or vote on the measure.)

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.

Kent stated: “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. 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.”

Added NORML Legal Counsel Keith Stroup: “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. 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.

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Johnny Green


  1. The feds should work with pa taints for medical pot as well as have a portfolio of how she uses it and where it goes if this is followed there should be no police involvement how ever not having evidence to obtain her medication like I said was a 14th amendment violation if prescribed by a qulifiying dr her evidence upholds over the cops and there for the cops should beheld accountable for illegally obtaining marijuana and be prosicuted for having it in there possession illeagall.

  2. Well if they took her medicine raid the pharmacy at the does office of medication law sates a setting amount is neither a federal crime or a legal matter the cops iueagally obtained the medication and refusal to give back her medication is no different then going to the pharmacie And take a doctors prescription for mental disease or constant pain so take the does prescriptions from a non holistic dr and ban there drugs if cops do give dr prescribed narcotics back sheshould also get her medication back if the cops them self dint already smoke it and that is the only reason they can’t give this women back her medication. Cops don’t want prohabition or legalization they want to control others its the feds job to see if she is doing everything right not the cops to maintain her ditches and her 14th amendment has been violated according to the medical marijuana act its just like cops to abuse there power illegally obtain pot and smoke it them self and put some on the shelf to get the look at what I did narsasistic pat on the back

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