Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Medical Pot Case Won't Go Forward

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Medical Pot Case Won't Go Forward

Article excerpt

MANATEE: Plants taken in raid on couple's home helped ease wife's ALS

PARRISH -- Prosecutors declined Tuesday to press charges against Robert Jordan for cultivating marijuana plants, which he said were to treat his wife's illness.

The State Attorney's Office said it believed Jordan could successfully mount a medical- necessity defense in court. The Jordans' home was raided by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office in February, after a tip that there were two marijuana plants growing in their backyard.

The Jordans -- Robert and his wife, Cathy -- have lobbied in Tallahassee for pot legalization for years, spending even more time talking with lawmakers after the raid about the bill named for Cathy Jordan, 62. She has used marijuana for years to control the symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

The president of the Florida Cannabis Action Network, Cathy Jordan "does more in that wheelchair than most people do," her husband has said.

"They're ecstatic, they're happy and they feel like they did the right thing," said Michael Minardi, the attorney representing Jordan. Minardi, who founded the nonprofit I'm a Patient Not a Criminal, said he hopes the move helps Florida join the 18 other states and Washington, D.C., in recognizing that cannabis has medical uses.

"From what I know about ALS, she's kind of a miracle," Minardi said. "When a woman tells you she's outlived four or five of her support groups, let her continue the treatment."

Manatee deputies did not arrest Cathy or Robert, 64, when they confiscated the plants, but referred the case to prosecutors. Robert Jordan, not his wife, was listed in the case in connection with potential cultivation charges.

In a memo to the Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, prosecutors explained their decision to take no action in the case, after weeks of reviewing documents and negotiating. …

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