Many Unsure of Medical Marijuana in Florida

By Rebecca McCurry 10/08/2014

Many people are on the fence about whether or not Florida should legalize medical marijuana, but the thousands of citizens in chronic pain can only hope that relief is in their near future. To pass a constitutional vote in Florida, there needs to be an approval of at least 60 percent of the voters. Some people argue that the amendment's ballot summary is misleading, and it will “tug at the heartstrings” of voters.


The amendment, which will be on the ballot on November 2014's election, legalizes medical marijuana for “debilitating diseases determined by a licensed Florida physician,” and further text contains a clause for “other conditions.” Many people, however, feel that the ballot is too broad for the Florida constitution. Former Justice Ken Bell explained his take on the amendment. “I just think it’s wrongheaded to put something like this in our constitution, the constitution is supposed to define the structure of our government, how it works and protect our fundamental rights, and then leave the rest of it to our representatives in government to pass legislation and make the policy decisions.”


Drug Free Florida, an organization that strongly opposes medical cannabis will be making their voices heard beginning the first week in October with their $1.6 million worth of statewide television ads. While no one knows for sure what the advertisements will say, it is assumed that it will have something to do with their opposition to the medical cannabis bill on the November ballot. Sarah Bascom, the spokesperson for Drug Free explained, “Our ad buy is all about the commitment we have to the voters - to make sure they understand the real motivation behind this effort and how bad it is for our state. And that will not stop until Election Day.”


Some Florida doctors have spoken out about their feelings on the matter and how they feel like the bill is much too vague. “The lack of clear definitions in the amendment would allow healthcare providers with absolutely no training in the ordering of controlled substances, to order medical marijuana,” Dr. Alan B. Pillersdorf, President of the Florida Medical Association, explained.


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