The Florida Medical Examiners Commission’s Drugs Identified in Deceased Persons annual report, which showed a 22 percent increase in drug-related deaths and a 35 percent increase in opioid-related deaths in 2016 compared to 2015. Adam Putnam, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and candidate for Florida Governor, commented:
“Nearly every Floridian has been impacted by substance abuse in one way or another, and the opioid epidemic continues to claim and destroy lives at an exponential rate. Today’s report shows the grave reality of Florida’s opioid epidemic, and I applaud Governor Scott for declaring a state of emergency in response to this crisis and his leadership in proposing aggressive measures to combat opioid abuse.”
Many areas in Florida, including Orange County, are considering cannabis for medical use as a way to combat this epidemic. Orange County’s Commission recently unanimously approved medical marijuana dispensaries in the county. This issue is conspicuously absent from Commissioner Putnam’s response.