No charges for growing marijuana

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Manatee County-The fight to legalize medical marijuana got a boost this week.   The state attorney's office announcing it will dismiss charges against a Suncoast man Robert Jordan.  Robert was accused of growing marijuana at his home to treat his wife's medical condition.

"The way I'm reading it is we're vindicated," said Robert.

He's talking about the decision the State Attorney's Office made to dismiss charges against him for growing marijuana at his home.

"It feels good, I don't have it hanging over my head about what their going to do," added Robert.

The Jordan's home was raided back in February, after police received a tip from a realtor about their marijuana plants, but Robert's situation is unique.  His wife Cathy has Lou Gerhrig's disease also know as ALS and she smokes the cannabis to treat her debilitating illness.

"There is no other pharmaceutical that can do what the plant does, there is no cure for ALS," said Robert. 

According to doctors from the Intracoastal Medical Group there is one prescription approved by the FDA used to treat ALS.  But, it only extends a patient's life expectancy by 90 days.  

Cathy was diagnosed in 1986 so she has not only out lived the life expectancy of most people with the disease but has also outlived the benefits of the medication used to treat it.

"That's unusual, uncommon, and also very good luck to be alive with ALS for more than 20 years," said Dr. Julio Cantaro a neurologist with  Intracoastal Medical Group.   

Cathy says she surpassed those expectations because she smokes medical marijuana.  And, Dr. Cantaro believes there may be some validity to that argument.

"We have found that the brain of a patient with ALS has increased glutamate and the increase in glutamate may be triggering all the problems that we see, so if someone does marijuana or other substances that block glutamate, then you may get benefit," said Dr. Cantaro.

Cantaro admits there have not been many studies to support the theory. But, the Jordon's say they don't need it because Cathy is the living proof. Which is why they are in the process of pushing the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act..

"It's time for stuff like this to come out cannabis is a medicine," said Robert.

The bill was introduced by Florida Senator Jeff Clemens and is expected to be voted on this session