A Manatee County man has marched, petitioned, even been arrested all in an effort to legalize medical marijuana and make his wife’s life a little bit easier.
Bob Jordan has been fighting this fight for the better part of two decades.
“The whole thing is very, very frustrating," he said. "I mean, if you would have told me 15 years ago I’d still be doing this, I wouldn’t have believed it."
The inspiration to wage the battle comes from watching his wife Cathy fight her own war against ALS.
“My wife has Lou Gehrig’s disease, one of the most horrible things you could ever see," Jordan said. "It devastates the whole body and you drown in your own fluids and you suffocate to death."
The Jordans set up shop Saturday along Manatee Avenue Causeway, asking people to sign a petition to hopefully bring back a bill that will legalize medicinal marijuana for people who need it.
“You know, I use it so I can sleep, I can eat, I can go to bed on time," said Jeffrey Gillard, who supports the legalization of medical marijuana. "You know, it’s got medical purposes. Alcohol is more dangerous, you know. We’ve got drugs more dangerous. This has got a medical benefit."
Bob was arrested in February for growing pot in his backyard. The state attorney’s office decided not to file charges because Bob was growing it for Cathy to use medicinally.
“I’m supposed to let my wife die," he said. "Anybody that loves anybody, and you can grow something in your backyard to help them."
The reality is that it’s still illegal for Bob to grow it or buy it for Cathy, but the Jordans say it’s the one drug that makes her life tolerable without killing her, so they’ll continue this fight until the Legislature changes its mind.
Bob and Cathy’s original bill, the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act, was shot down by the Florida Legislature but Bob says they have been given reason to renew their effort to get the bill brought back.