Tampa family hopes for change to marijuana law

Posted at 10:03 PM, Feb 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-29 23:27:17-05

"They forget how to talk. They forget how to walk. They forget how to eat,” said wife Sharon Cano.

After 38 years of marriage, this registered nurse is now her husband's caretaker.

"They told me when he got diagnosed to put our things in order,” Cano said.

Carlos Cano, 53, sleeps comatose in a hospital bed beside hers in their West Tampa bedroom.

"He kept on having stroke after stroke after stroke,” said his wife.

Diagnosed with frontal temporal lobe dementia in 2010, a progressive and terminal disease, they say cannabis oil helps keeps him comfortable and from wasting away.

"I just want to see him a little bit better, and if there is something that's out there that can make him a better, I'm willing to try it because we've exhausted every other medical option,” his son, Chris Cano, said.

Chris Cano, an aspiring politician, recently lost a run for state representative. He's also a Tampa Bay area advocate for medical marijuana.

In 2014, he was arrested for felony marijuana possession -- marijuana he says he was bringing home for his sick father.

"We have to risk our freedom, our livelihood, our jobs just to make sure he can have a little bit better quality of life -- that's not right,” Chris Cano said.

The Canos are in favor of a proposed Tampa City ordinance that would ease the penalty for pot possession under 20 grams from a criminal offense to a civil citation.

"Seventy-five bucks rather than tens of thousands of legal fees,” Chris Cano said.

The ordinance won't wipe Chris Cano's record clean or help his dad.

Still this mom and son feel it could help other families.

"I just want him comfortable, give him as much time as he can,” Sharon Cano said.

Tampa City councilors will take up the marijuana possession ordinance Thursday.

If they pass it, Tampa will join a handful of Florida cities including Miami.