South Fla. man first in state to be tried for smoking 'medical' marijuana
Jesse Teplicki, 50, claims he grows marijuana to help with eating disorder
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A South Florida man is making history after becoming the first person in Florida that will have a jury decide whether he guilty of smoking marijuana for medical reasons.
Jesse Teplicki, 50, was arrested in 2013 after police said they found 46 marijuana plants in his possession.
However, Teplicki claims he grows marijuana solely for himself and said marijuana is the only thing that helps his eating disorder, stating it stimulates his appetite and keeps his nausea at bay.
Teplicki said he's been smoking marijuana for 33 years and has tried other medicines to help his eating disorder, but says none have worked thus far.
Last year, the Florida Legislature passed a medical marijuana bill that legalizes certain strains of the drug, but these strains don't help in Teplicki's case. Prosecutors said because of that, he is breaking the law.
On Monday morning, the state offered Teplicki 18 months of probation for his charge, but he denied the plea deal.
"I've discussed that with my attorney and that is not an option, your honor," Teplicki said in court Monday.
If convicted, Teplicki faces five years in prison. Jury selection is currently underway.
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