Bridget Kirouac: Martin County woman faces prison time as medical marijuana trial starts in Stuart

Posted at 5:54 PM, Sep 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-13 06:39:31-04

A historic medical marijuana case is underway on the Treasure Coast.

Bridget Kirouac, 54, is charged with cultivation and possession of cannabis, which she says she needs for her ailments.

Now, a jury will decide if that will lead to her spending time in prison. 
In 2014, deputies arrested the Martin County woman after they followed her home from a hydroponics store on suspicion that she was growing marijuana.

Deputies searched her home and found 20 marijuana plants. 

However, she says she had a reason.

Kirouac, who moved here from Maine, claims she suffers from several serious medical ailments.

Her doctors in Maine gave her a recommendation for medical marijuana, which is legal in that state. 

This case represents the first time in Florida that a jury will hear arguments that an out of state recommendation should be considered a legal prescription under Florida law.

“Nobody criticizes people for raising the ‘stand your ground’ defense, nobody criticizes people for raising other affirmative defenses,” her attorney Michael Minardi says. “People should be able to raise this defense as well, because it’s about ending people’s suffering.” 

Supporters of medical marijuana showed up in court today to stand by Kirouac.

“I think it’s going to be huge,” says Jodi James, director of the Florida Cannabis Action Network. “I mean, you’ve got to remember that the president of the senate is right up the road. So this is happening right here where our lawmakers live.”

Kirouac faces anywhere from one to five years in prison. 

Opening statements are set for Tuesday. 
The case is expected to be sent to the jury by Thursday.