Collier County still mulling medical marijuana dispensaries

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Collier County residents are pushing for medical marijuana, but county commissioners are still deciding where to put shops and whether to allow them at all.

Commissioners would need a super majority vote, 4 to 1, in order to allow dispensaries.

Lee and Charlotte counties are already working on opening shops.

“I could not have come off of the pharmaceuticals without it, I couldn’t the withdrawals were horrific,” said Kathleen Farrell. She says medical marijuana changed her life which is why she is pushing for access to the substance. “I have been the guinea pig for the pharmaceutical industry and I am not going to do that anymore.”

Farrell suffers from depression and she plans to stick with using medical marijuana.

“You have to feel to heal and you have to feel your emotions, and that’s what the medical marijuana helps you to do, if you got to cry it out, you cry it out,” she said.

Other cannabis users like Jody Pitts say it helps with other medical conditions as well.

“I’ve suffered from two traumatic brain injuries,” Pitts said. “Neurologically its helps me out tremendously.”

County commissioners say even though they’ve heard the public outcry, they still have concerns.

“It could turn into a slippery slope,” said County Commissioner Penny Taylor. “But the other aspect is that we were not given any home rule power to be able to determine where these dispensaries are going to go.”

But Pitts remains optimistic.

“We need this stuff here, we’re going to get it it’s going to get here eventually,” he said. “They can either get on board and get in or we’ll just go over them and get it done anyways. It’s going to happen.”

The county will give its final vote in January or February of next year.

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