Published: May 08, 2014 5:52 PM EDT
Updated: May 08, 2014 6:40 PM EDT

PARRISH, Fla. -  What Bob Jordan grows in his shed would put most of us in jail for years. But for him, it's legal in the eyes of the law. Though to hear Jordan tell it, this isn't a story about marijuana, it's a story about love.

"I love my wife. I'm trying to keep my wife alive. And I'll do whatever it takes," said Jordan.

That includes, growing marijuana. Jordan, who lives in Manatee County, received a medical necessity defense from a Judge. That means he's allowed to grow marijuana for his ailing wife, Cathy, who has ALS.

Cathy was diagnosed with the disease in 1986, when they were living in Delaware. She was given three to five years to live.

"She came down here, actually she was gonna commit suicide," Jordan said, "she didn't want to watch us watch her die."

Then one night, while hanging out on the beach with friends, Cathy smoked pot. She instantly felt better.

"The best way I can describe it is, when she went to Florida she was dieing and when she returned she was living," Jordan said.

Since then, Cathy Jordan has become an advocate for medical marijuana. And to many, a living, breathing example of its success.

"If you can give me a prescription that does exactly what that plant does, I'd use it, I'd be crazy not to. But there is nothing else for ALS," Jordan said.

Cathy Jordan isn't the only person legally allowed to use medical cannabis in Florida. Last May, WINK News introduced you to Irv Rosenfeld of Fort Lauderdale, who is part of a federal study that provides him with free medical grade marijuana.

"I get no euphoric effect, I don't get high from it, I never have. It just affords me the right to be as well as I can with a severe bone disorder," said Rosenfeld.

According to the Marijuana Policy Project, medical cannabis can be used by a variety of patients. For chemo and radiation patients, it's used frequently to alleviate nausea and increase appetite to reduce weight loss. For patients suffering from seizures, cannabis helps ease involuntary muscle movement and phantom pain. Glaucoma was one of the earliest applications of medical marijuana. Patients say it eases intraocular pressure.

This past year, thousands of activists garnered enough signatures to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot.

But the Florida Sheriff's Association has come out against the proposal, claiming it will hurt families and children.

Deborah Comella with the Coalition for a Drug-Free Southwest Florida, has concerns about the measure.

"We find that it's just another excuse to legalize abuse of marijuana," said Comella.

Amendment 2 has split some of Florida's top politicians among party lines. Senator Bill Nelson and Former Governor Charlie Crist say they support medical marijuana. Several leading Republicans, however, including Governor Rick Scott have come out against it.

"Illegal drug use is not right. I see how it has impacted families, same as alcohol has impacted families. I'm going to be voting against it," Scott said.

Though Scott did surprise supporters when he announced he would sign a bill legalizing a strain of low THC medical marijuana called Charlotte's Web. Experts in the field say that strain of marijuana will only help a fraction of patients. Whereas, Amendment 2 would expand the number of patients that could benefit.

"This could be the most important vote you're ever gonna have in Florida," Jordan said.

Medical marijuana is currently legal in 21 states and Washington, D.C. Florida would be the first southern state to approve the use of medical cannabis if the measure passes. Because it is a proposed constitutional amendment, 60% of voters must approve.