Jenks v. State of Florida‏

Defendants were convicted in the Circuit Court, Bay County, Clinton Foster, J., of cultivating cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia, and they appealed. They appealed on the basis of a medical need and the lack thereof that recognizes evolvements of prescription drugs.

The District Court of Appeal, Ervin, J., held that a statute defining cannabis as a Schedule I substance did not preclude defense of medical necessity, and the lack of defendants establishing medical necessity a defense.

Kenneth and Barbara Jenks appealed their convictions for cultivation of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia by contending that the trial court erred in refusing to recognize their defense of medical necessity.

To note: Kenneth Jenks inherited hemophilia from his mother, and contracted the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) virus from a blood transfusion in 1980. He unknowingly passed it to his wife, Barbara Jenks. Mrs. Jenks’ health began to decline rapidly. Her weight dropped from 150 to 112 pounds during a three week period as a result of constant vomiting, and she was hospitalized at least six times for two to three weeks at a time. Although she had been prescribed over a half-dozen oral medications for nausea, none of them worked. When given shots for nausea, she was left in a stupor and unable to function. Likewise, when Mr. Jenks started AZT treatment, he was not able to eat because the medication left him constantly nauseous. He also lost weight, although not as dramatically as his wife.

When the Jenks began participating in a support group sponsored by the Bay County Health Department, a group member told them how marijuana had helped him, as a personal opinion and suggestion. Although initially reluctant, Mr. and Mrs. Jenks tried marijuana and found that they were able to retain their AIDS medications, eat, gain weight, maintain their health, and “stay out of the hospital“. They asked their treating physician about prescribing the drug, but were unable to obtain a legal prescription. The Jenks decided to grow two marijuana plants to insure its availability, avoid the expense of buying it on the street, and reduce the possibility of arrest.

On March 29, 1990, the Jenks were arrested and charged with manufacturing (cultivating) cannabis, pursuant to Section 893.13, Florida Statutes (1989), and possession of drug paraphernalia, a violation of Section 893.147, Florida Statutes (1989). The Jenks admitted to cultivating the marijuana and advised officers at the scene that they each had AIDS and used the marijuana to relieve their symptoms.

The Jenks waived their right to a jury trial and agreed that the bench trial should center on their defense of medical necessity. Because their physician, Thomas Sunnenberg, was not available to testify, the parties stipulated that Dr. Sunnenberg’s testimony would be, That he has been unable to find any effective drug for treating the defendants’ nausea, That the nausea is so debilitating that if it is not controlled, the defendants could die, That if he could legally prescribe Cannabis Sativa as a drug to control their nausea he would, That the only drug that controls their nausea is Cannabis Sativa, That he is presently seeking access to legal Cannabis Sativa through the Food and Drug Administration under the Compassionate Investigational New Drug Program (IND) for the Jenks.
At trial, the defense also presented two expert witnesses, Robert Randall, who suffers from glaucoma and who successfully asserted the defense of medical necessity against a charge of marijuana cultivation in 1976, and Dr. Daniel Dansak of Alabama, who has treated over fifty patients who have used marijuana to alleviate both disease symptoms and side-effects of medication.

The trial judge rejected the defense of medical necessity, found the Jenks guilty of manufacturing marijuana, and withheld adjudication of guilt, placing the Jenks on one year of unsupervised probation. He ordered the Jenks to perform 500 hours of community service, to be discharged only by ‘providing care, comfort and concern for each other.’

The necessity defense has been formulated as follows:

The pressure of natural physical forces sometimes confronts a person in an emergency with a choice of two evils: either he may violate the literal terms of the criminal law and thus produce a harmful result, or he may comply with those terms and thus produce a greater or equal or lesser amount of harm. For reasons of social policy, if the harm which will result from compliance with the law is greater than that which will result from violation of it, he is by virtue of the defense of necessity justified in violating it.
Although there is no specific legislative acceptance of the necessity defense in Florida, we conclude that the defense was recognized at common law and that there has been no clearly expressed legislative rejection of such defense.

Purpose:

To identify the need to address a public and/or private need to the advancements and involvements to the medical society to promote improvements and address those as such, improvements to medical actions, research, prescribed relations, and common knowledge.

This seems to be a case that was and handled in a manner that suggests more of a criminal response. In doing such a medical function was also attentioned. From that result of a medical purpose being that, the primary action that had been noted as a criminal infraction,(the possession and cultivating charges) a commonness was witnessed resulted in an appeal as such, a common action.

As a result:

it seems that as a perspective this nation is seeing that response to the lack of research and knowledge of involvements and advancements to the theories associated with health and personal well being. As a society, we as a people feel as though we are allowed this actions of self-convictions to being used as improve mental responses to the daily reproaches to health and science.

Medical marijuana laws are sensible, compassionate, and supported by people from all sides of the political spectrum. It is time for Florida to seriously consider introducing a medical marijuana bill.Defendants were convicted in the Circuit Court, Bay County, Clinton Foster, J., of cultivating cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia, and they appealed. They appealed on the basis of a medical need and the lack thereof that recognizes evolvements of prescription drugs.

The District Court of Appeal, Ervin, J., held that a statute defining cannabis as a Schedule I substance did not preclude defense of medical necessity, and the lack of defendants establishing medical necessity a defense.

Kenneth and Barbara Jenks appealed their convictions for cultivation of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia by contending that the trial court erred in refusing to recognize their defense of medical necessity.

To note: Kenneth Jenks inherited hemophilia from his mother, and contracted the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) virus from a blood transfusion in 1980. He unknowingly passed it to his wife, Barbara Jenks. Mrs. Jenks’ health began to decline rapidly. Her weight dropped from 150 to 112 pounds during a three week period as a result of constant vomiting, and she was hospitalized at least six times for two to three weeks at a time. Although she had been prescribed over a half-dozen oral medications for nausea, none of them worked. When given shots for nausea, she was left in a stupor and unable to function. Likewise, when Mr. Jenks started AZT treatment, he was not able to eat because the medication left him constantly nauseous. He also lost weight, although not as dramatically as his wife.

When the Jenks began participating in a support group sponsored by the Bay County Health Department, a group member told them how marijuana had helped him, as a personal opinion and suggestion. Although initially reluctant, Mr. and Mrs. Jenks tried marijuana and found that they were able to retain their AIDS medications, eat, gain weight, maintain their health, and “stay out of the hospital“. They asked their treating physician about prescribing the drug, but were unable to obtain a legal prescription. The Jenks decided to grow two marijuana plants to insure its availability, avoid the expense of buying it on the street, and reduce the possibility of arrest.

On March 29, 1990, the Jenks were arrested and charged with manufacturing (cultivating) cannabis, pursuant to Section 893.13, Florida Statutes (1989), and possession of drug paraphernalia, a violation of Section 893.147, Florida Statutes (1989). The Jenks admitted to cultivating the marijuana and advised officers at the scene that they each had AIDS and used the marijuana to relieve their symptoms.

The Jenks waived their right to a jury trial and agreed that the bench trial should center on their defense of medical necessity. Because their physician, Thomas Sunnenberg, was not available to testify, the parties stipulated that Dr. Sunnenberg’s testimony would be, That he has been unable to find any effective drug for treating the defendants’ nausea, That the nausea is so debilitating that if it is not controlled, the defendants could die, That if he could legally prescribe Cannabis Sativa as a drug to control their nausea he would, That the only drug that controls their nausea is Cannabis Sativa, That he is presently seeking access to legal Cannabis Sativa through the Food and Drug Administration under the Compassionate Investigational New Drug Program (IND) for the Jenks.

At trial, the defense also presented two expert witnesses, Robert Randall, who suffers from glaucoma and who successfully asserted the defense of medical necessity against a charge of marijuana cultivation in 1976, and Dr. Daniel Dansak of Alabama, who has treated over fifty patients who have used marijuana to alleviate both disease symptoms and side-effects of medication.

The trial judge rejected the defense of medical necessity, found the Jenks guilty of manufacturing marijuana, and withheld adjudication of guilt, placing the Jenks on one year of unsupervised probation. He ordered the Jenks to perform 500 hours of community service, to be discharged only by ‘providing care, comfort and concern for each other.’

The necessity defense has been formulated as follows:

The pressure of natural physical forces sometimes confronts a person in an emergency with a choice of two evils: either he may violate the literal terms of the criminal law and thus produce a harmful result, or he may comply with those terms and thus produce a greater or equal or lesser amount of harm. For reasons of social policy, if the harm which will result from compliance with the law is greater than that which will result from violation of it, he is by virtue of the defense of necessity justified in violating it.
Although there is no specific legislative acceptance of the necessity defense in Florida, we conclude that the defense was recognized at common law and that there has been no clearly expressed legislative rejection of such defense.

Purpose:

To identify the need to address a public and/or private need to the advancements and involvements to the medical society to promote improvements and address those as such, improvements to medical actions, research, prescribed relations, and common knowledge.

This seems to be a case that was and handled in a manner that suggests more of a criminal response. In doing such a medical function was also attentioned. From that result of a medical purpose being that, the primary action that had been noted as a criminal infraction,(the possession and cultivating charges) a commonness was witnessed resulted in an appeal as such, a common action.

As a result:

it seems that as a perspective this nation is seeing that response to the lack of research and knowledge of evolvements and advancements to the theories associated with health and personal well being. As a society, we as a people feel as though we are allowed this actions of self-convictions to being used as improve mental responses to the daily reproaches to health and science.

Medical marijuana laws are sensible, compassionate, and supported by people from all sides of the political spectrum. It is time for Florida to seriously consider introducing a medical marijuana bill.

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