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Indian River County Commission says no to medical marijuana dispensaries

Posted at 5:09 PM, Aug 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-16 04:50:41-04

Speech in hand, Joseph Cassano went to Tuesday’s Indian River County Commission meeting not to talk about himself, but his dad.

“He just got home from his 14th surgery and his fourth artificial shoulder," said Cassano.

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The 29-year-old Cassano says his dad wanted to try something other than pain meds, so the pair went to Nevada recently so his father could sample medical marijuana.

“He found that they worked better than the pharmaceuticals that he’s prescribed at the moment,” said Cassano.

He hoped to convince commissioners not to pass a new ordinance banning medical marijuana dispensaries in the unincorporated county.

“Without him being able to access medical marijuana in an easy way.  Easier than it is now, he might not make it," said the Vero Beach area resident.        

Commissioners approved the ordinance unanimously.

The county’s main concern came after the state passed a law that dispensaries had to be treated like any pharmacy, and no distance limitations could be put in place.

“The dispensaries themselves are not the issue.  It’s the collateral of what could happen near a dispensary that was the commission concern," said Commission Chair Joseph Flescher.

The county did agree to come back in about a year's time and look at the issue again.  The chairman says the commission represents a county where two-thirds of the voters came out in support of medical marijuana.

Cassano says the willingness to revisit the issue gives him hope that maybe there’ll be a change.