First marijuana case goes to jury after man claims pot use for h - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

First marijuana case goes to jury after man claims pot use for health

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida man who was arrested for growing several marijuana plants in his home is fighting his arrest in court because he says he needs the plants for his health.

Jesse Teplicki said he has suffered from anorexia for as long as he can remember. "I've had my condition since I was born. It is genetic," said Teplicki.

Teplicki was growing and smoking marijuana to help him with his disease. "Marijuana not only stimulates appetite, but it reduces nausea," said Teplicki. "It reduces my stomach pains. It allows me to live. It allows me to be a productive member and support my wife, my children and be a member of society. I've been on all sorts of medication. They don't work for me. We've tried, and this is the only source of relief that I have."

Teplicki was arrested last year for growing 46 marijuana plants. For the first time in Florida history, a jury will decide if cannabis was medically necessary in Teplicki's case.

Wearing a green cannabis freedom bracelet in court on Monday, Teplicki's attorney, Michael Minardi, is a medicinal marijuana advocate and hopes jurors will rule in his favor. Minardi said, "It stimulates appetite. It gives him the munchies, you know, the common side effects that's obviously good for cancer patients and chemo therapy and weight gain. Mr. Teplicki is using that for that same purpose."

"This is a big, big issue. This is not just about me. This case is not about me. It's about medical marijuana," said Teplicki.

Teplicki's trial is expected to last through Thursday.

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