The use of marijuana for certain medical conditions would be allowed in the State of Florida if the proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot for the November 4, 2014 general election is passed. Before 2014, most likely this writer would have voted against it because of the stigma attached to marijuana use and the “drug scene”. Circumstances this year have made a change in that vote.
A 24-year-old girl started experiencing epileptic fits in June 2014 and they have progressed to being so strong and frequent that she is bedridden. She lives in the state of North Carolina where they do
allow some medical marijuana but not for her. She and I have written each other since she was nine years old when we met through family. She is a sweet Christian young lady who teaches Sunday School, was a graduate student in writing until these episodes, loves butterflies and makes butterfly jewelry. She needs help desperately to get on with her life. Epileptics in Florida need this amendment passed.
There are so many amazing documented cases of marijuana easing different symptoms that it seems obvious the government should not prevent its medical use. There always can be scams, but most physicians are trustworthy of prescribing way more dangerous pharmaceuticals to their patients. A 2003 WebMD Medscape poll reported that “76% of physicians and 86% of nurses favor marijuana for medicinal purposes.” The American Medical Association says “effective patient care requires the free and unfettered exchange of information on treatment alternatives and that discussion of these alternatives between physicians and patients should not subject either party to criminal sanctions.” Its availability is supported by the American College of Physicians, American Public Health Association, American Nurses Association, as well as many other associations and organizations.
Orlando attorney John Morgan added $4.7 million in support of the amendment after his personal experience with his father’s death by cancer. His dad was twisted in a fetal position and hallucinating from pain and prescription drugs. The father did not want to use marijuana, but when he tried it his nausea and anxiety were gone and the pain reduced. It allowed him to die with dignity.
Michael Swannick, 53,retired to Florida from the New York City police after contracting thyroid and kidney cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and painful degenerative spinal disease. He had worked in the Ground Zero area in the 2001 World Trade Center attack. Another police veteran told him marijuana was easing his pain so Swannick tried it himself. He smokes it now before going to bed and it helps him sleep with 60 percent of the pain gone. In support of amendment 2 he said, “This will help people…You should be able to go to your physician, talk about this and not worry about prosecution.”
There is a concern that legalizing medical marijuana will increase the drug’s use by minors as it becomes more available to physicians. Data since the first effective medical marijuana law passed in 1996 shows that “of the 15 states with available before-and-after data, none have reported statistically significant increases in teen marijuana use. In fact, 11 have reported decreases.”
The long-term effects of its use on developing brains need more testing. Studies have shown its effectiveness in providing symptom relief from HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, cancer and chemotherapy, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and other debilitating illnesses.
More dangerous controlled drugs like morphine are available to physicians. Why should marijuana be excluded? It is already available to those who want it and would still be illegal unless prescribed for cases which benefit from it. The open operations of the legal registered marijuana growers would not devastate the environment like the illegal growers’ activities.
If the amendment is passed, the Florida Department of Health would release procedures for Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers registration within six months of the effective date and start registering the centers no late than nine months after the effective date. It would not allow growing marijuana at home.