Naples father in pain, waiting for medical marijuana access

NAPLES, Fla. Michael Kalvin loves to fish, but he can hardly bear to do it anymore.

The father of four worked for more than 10 years detailing yachts. But now he was carpal tunnel syndrome in his wrists, tendinitis and debilitating back issues.

“The last time I tried to do some side work, I couldn’t work for more than a day without taking two days off because my wrist and my palm were so swollen,” he said.

Kalvin, who lives in Naples, hoped to treat his ailments with medical marijuana after 71 percent of voters in Florida approved Amendment 2 in November.

But Collier County commissioners voted Tuesday 4-1 to extend their current ban on medical marijuana dispensaries until 2018, saying they want more guidance from state lawmakers.

“I feel like it’s constitutionally wrong at this point because it’s something that was voted on, decided by the public,” Kalvin said.

Collier County isn’t the only area in Southwest Florida to implement a ban on dispensaries.

Bonita Springs, Estero and Charlotte County all currently bar them.

“Our children are our future voters and our future taxpayers,” Kalvin said. “If we are allowing them to witness the will of the voters being turned down now, even after it was approved by the voters, what kind of message are we sending them about our government?”

Collier County Commissioner Burt Saunders, who voted to extend the ban, said patients can still receive cannabis from outside the county through home delivery.