There is majority agreement between the House and Senate, that smoking of cannabis is not an act that is consistent with a healthy life and not consistent with consuming medicine,” Sen. Rob Bradley said.

Sen. Rob Bradley

During the Legislative session, a Senate meeting was unexpectedly put on hold for 15 minutes after a man in the audience suffered a seizure. After the meeting, Bradley told reporters the seizure “is another reminder that what we’re dealing with is people’s lives.”

“What frustrates many of us is so many people get caught up in the money of it,” Bradley said. “Hopefully what happened here today will remind everybody that what we are talking about is patients and what we are talking about is access to a drug that is now guaranteed under the Constitution.”

Yes, Mr. Bradley, what we are talking about is patients and what we are talking about is access to a drug that is now guaranteed under the Constitution, including smoking.

Being present at the gathering of the House and the Senate when the first discussion came up regarding smoking cannabis would have been so great. I wonder things like,

How many were present?

Who was in attendance when was this agreement made?

What or who brought that up in the first place?

Who was it that stated smoking cannabis is not consistent with a healthy lifestyle?

Who made the statement that smoking cannabis is not consistent with consuming medicine?

Rep. Ray Rodriguez

Who was part of the majority?

It would be helpful to know the names of lawmakers that jumped on that train.

I wonder so many things about how the 2017 Florida Legislative session went down. But for this piece, we’ll focus on the cannabis smoking ban for Amendment 2.

Our goal is to produce an implementing bill that honors the letter and the spirit of the constitutional amendment and does it in a way that protects Florida citizens, …Rep. Ray Rodrigues.

You and Adam Putnam must have been at the same meeting. Everything you do regarding Amendment 2 is done to protect the Florida citizens. Every time Putnam’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication team arrests more people, and confiscates more property they are doing it to make a safe environment for the people that call Florida home.

Mr. Rodriguez set with former Congressman David Jolly on AM 820 WWBA in March.

He spoke of 2013 study conducted by Columbia University that found marijuana in a pill form provided longer relief than smoking (4.5 hours compared to 2.5 hours).

“When you smoke, you’re using known carcinogens into your body, and reducing lung function,” said Rodriguez. “So, from a medical standpoint, the pill form is definitely medicine. It provides you the benefit of medicine. And the smoking of it is not medicine, it does not provide benefits, it often provides more harm than good.”

The brief 2013 study you mention is worth sharing in its entirety with our readers.

Taking Marijuana in a Pill May Be Better for Pain Relief Than Smoking It: Study

APRIL 23, 2013 BY JOIN TOGETHER STAFF

A drug that contains the active ingredient of marijuana may be more effective for pain relief than the smoked form of the drug, a new study suggests. Researchers at Columbia University in New York also found the pill, dronabinol, created less of a high than smoked marijuana.

Dronabinol, which contains THC, appeared to provide longer-lasting pain relief, HealthDay reports. It is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat nausea and appetite loss associated with cancer and AIDS.

The study included 30 marijuana smokers who did not have pain. The researchers compared two strengths of smoked marijuana against two strengths of dronabinol and a placebo. For each of five sessions, the participants took dronabinol and then 45 minutes later smoked marijuana.

During each session, participants placed their hands in a water bath that was just above freezing temperature. Researchers measured how long it took for them to feel pain, and how long they could tolerate the pain. The participants rated how intensely they felt the pain, and how high they felt, the article notes. (Isn’t this outrageous?)

While smoked marijuana and dronabinol were found to be about equally effective at controlling pain, participants who smoked the strongest dose of marijuana or took the highest dose of dronabinol felt pain about 12 to 13 seconds later, compared with when they took a placebo.

Pain relief peaked about 15 minutes after participants smoked marijuana, and wore off rather quickly. The pills took longer to work, but provided pain relief for three to four hours. Participants also said they felt much higher after they smoked marijuana, compared with when they took dronabinol.

“If you think about it, if you’re someone who’s dealing with chronic pain, you’re going to have to be smoking several times a day, and for a lot of people that would not be feasible,” study author Ziva Cooper told HealthDay.

The study appears in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

Wait. There’s more good stuff…The listed side effects of dronabinol:

Dronabinol

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Marinol

GENERIC NAME(S): Dronabinol

Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of serious side effects will increase.

This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as irritability, trouble sleeping, restlessness, hot flashes, and diarrhea) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions right away.

Along with its benefits, this medication may rarely cause abnormal drug-seeking behavior (addiction). This risk may be increased if you have abused alcohol or drugs in the past. Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lessen the risk of addiction. Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

Rodrigues acknowledged he has heard from Amendment 2 supporters, who aren’t happy with his bill.

“There were definitely people who believed that they were voting to smoke it because those people have contacted me since we had filed that bill and expressed that sentiment,” Rodriguez said. “However, I do not believe it is the majority. Clearly, the majority of the people believed they were voting for medical marijuana. As long as they got the benefits from medical marijuana, the way that it is administered is irrelevant.”

“As long as they got the benefits from medical marijuana, the way that it is administered is irrelevant.” …Rep. Ray Rodriguez.

How does this statement hold credence? How did those words slide by? So, you do not believe all the people that contacted you expressing concern over not being allowed to legally smoke, represents the majority? However, you do believe that the majority was aware they were voting for medical cannabis, but thought the way it was administered was irrelevant?

And, you came to that conclusion because that is what you believe to be so?

These restrictions unnecessarily limit patients’ choices and deny them the ability to obtain rapid relief from whole-plant cannabis in a manner that has long proven to be relatively safe and effective.

Ray Rodriguez reference to a 2013 study can hardly be taken as a serious resource to discuss an important issue such as this.  So, let’s get serious.

“…Cannibas smoke contains multiple cannabinoids — many of which possess anti-cancer activity — and therefore likely exerts “a protective effect against pro-carcinogens that require activation.” … Dr. Mark Ware, vice-chair of task force on cannabis

According to recent scientific findings, marijuana smoke and tobacco smoke vary considerably in their health effects.

Marijuana Smoke vs. Tobacco Smoke 

 Cannabis researcher Robert Melamede explained the two substances possess different pharmacological activities and are not equally carcinogenic. Specifically, he affirmed that marijuana smoke contains multiple cannabinoids — many of which possess anti-cancer activity — and therefore likely exerts “a protective effect against pro-carcinogens that require activation.” Melamede concluded, “Components of cannabis smoke minimize some whereas tobacco smoke enhances some.”

Robt. Melamede

Consequently, studies have so far failed to identify an association between cannabis smoke exposure and elevated risks of smoking-related cancers.

“We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use. What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect.”

McGill University

In a 2015 study conducted at Emory University in Atlanta, the inhalation of cannabis smoke, even over extended periods of time, is not associated with detrimental effects on pulmonary function “The pattern of marijuana’s effects seems to be distinctly different when compared to that of tobacco use.”

Mark Ware

In 2013, McGill University professor and physician Mark Ware wrote in the journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society:

Cannabis smoking does not seem to increase risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or airway cancers, in fact, there is even a suggestion that at low doses, cannabis smoking may be protective of both conditions.” These findings are inconsistent with the “smoking is bad” position.”

Why won’t our Florida lawmakers provide solid reasoning for holding onto such a nonsensical issue? It makes little sense for them to impose legislative bans on herbal cannabis products. Oral cannabis preparations, such as capsules and edibles, possess delayed onset compared to inhaled herbal cannabis, making these options unsuitable for patients to obtain rapid relief.

These restrictions unnecessarily and unfairly limit patients’ choices and deny them the ability to obtain relief from whole-plant cannabis in a manner that has long proven to be relatively safe and effective.

If Florida government was truly interested in insuring public safety regarding consumption, we could compare effects of sugar vs cannabis.

Adam Putnam, Commissioner of Florida Agriculture and Director of the Domestic Cannabis Eradication program, is the darling of Big Sugar. Putnam is also running for the Governor’s spot in 2018.

Mr. Putnam announces with pride every year how much cannabis was confiscated, how much it was worth and how many arrests were made to keep Florida safe. In addition, big sugar has provided nearly $60 million in direct and in-kind contributions to Florida political campaigns over the past 20 years, managed by the Department of Agriculture.

Americans think sugar poses a greater health risk than a drug the federal government classifies among “the most dangerous“ substance available, alongside heroin and LSD.

Sugar can lead to a score of health problems. Besides diabetes and obesity, high sucrose consumption has been linked to depression, cancer, and heart disease.

What about cigarettes and alcohol? My adult life has never seen restrictions on these items other than the necessity to be 18 or 21.

Anyone who takes a truly objective look at the evidence surrounding these substances could not possibly arrive at any other conclusion.” Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, told The Huffington Post.

“The public’s understanding of marijuana is more in line with the facts than ever before. Marijuana is not entirely harmless, but there is no longer any doubt that it poses far less harm to the consumer than many of the legal products engrained in American culture.”

This is just covfefe. Attempting to establish guidelines for medical cannabis in Florida is a blatant miscarriage of justice. The original intent of Amendment 2 was clear. But the lawmakers decided to go along with HB1397 until time ran out and the deal was killed.

For now, Florida Amendment 2 is in limbo. Regardless of what comes next, Florida is probably not going to allow smoking. The reason goes back to protecting Floridians. They have decided smoking is out of the question. And none of us truly knows why. The pitch is using the ‘for the sake of insuring public safety’ card. We’re all caught up in it. We have no choice.

This is an example of the path Florida legislators have taken repeatedly. The number of cannabis advocates committed to change things in Tallahassee is growing. We’ll cast our votes to remove those who choose untruths, deception and outright corruption when the time comes. However, it’s bothersome to look at reality and realize we are likely going to get what the state wants not what we voted for. We’ve been duped.

The 71.3% has taken the high road from the beginning. The state has kept our community on constant defense. It’s like old school politics before the internet.  But now, the truth is out there and it is on the side of cannabis.

It wasn’t the legislators that worked hard for years to get Amendment 2 on the ballot. My guess is that they were not part of the 71.3% who voted Yes. Yet, they are the ones making the rules.

They tell us it is their responsibility as our Senator, Congress person, State Representative or whatever position they hold, to insure public health. Since cannabis is widely lacking scientific evidence or approval from the FDA, they must move forward with caution. Yet, the FDA approves a product such as Marinol that is loaded with undesirable side effects.

They tell us Amendment 2 should be implemented as their constituents requested and in a fashion which will establish Florida as a responsible medical marijuana state as defined by the Federal Government according to Ray Rodriguez, author of HB1397.

They tell us it is clear smoking of anything is bad for our health. So, it has been prohibited. But it will be OK to make cannabis extracts available. Why not allow the purchase of cannabis flower and allow the patients to further process them in the way they choose? It’s not a health issue. Science is on the side of cannabis.

“Last time I checked, Florida was the Sunshine State not a nanny state.” said Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, District 49. “Who are we to tell legitimate patients they cannot smoke their cannabis? That’s not our business.”

Comments originating from: Gallup: Support for marijuana legalization surges to new highs.

After making the realization that sugar is more dangerous than marijuana, I’ve been getting more and more angry about the current marijuana laws. All the primary arguments by the opponents are based solely on the belief that marijuana is dangerous and they want to keep it away from kids. It’s a safe bet that those same people wake up every morning, pour a bowl of a sugar filled cereal like Frosted Flakes, slide it in front of their kids, and, after a kiss on the forehead, they start spooning sugar into their coffee. 
None of it makes any sense!”

I personally think that sugar vs marijuana is a comparison that should definitely be a mainstream realization and a part of the argument for legalization. If danger is going to be the platform that opponents are going to use to keep it illegal, let’s examine something that everybody, worldwide, uses every day that is far more dangerous. Forget tobacco and alcohol… we give sugar to children of all ages.”

“If we were to have an objective conversation about dangerous substances, then we wouldn’t begin with the topic of cannabis. We would discuss food.”

“According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, unhealthy eating causes 678,000 deaths every year.” That’s 34 times greater than the deaths caused by all illegal drugs combined (17,000)! And cannabis doesn’t cause any deaths at all.” 
“We didn’t end alcohol prohibition because alcohol is safe. We ended it because prohibition criminalizes the innocent and because it creates and subsidizes violent criminals.”

“You can go through life living in a plastic bubble and playing it safe, or you can live life with your hair on fire. If you’re not hurting anyone, you should have that choice.

“The most harmful thing about marijuana are the laws against its use. That is what ruins lives and families for no other reason than to exert control over other’s lives.

Figures directly from the CDC on numbers of deaths per year in the US:

* Prescription Drugs: 237,485 + 5000 traffic fatalities
* Tobacco: 390,323
* Alcohol: 88,013 + 16,000 traffic fatalities
* Cocaine: 4,906
* Heroin: 7,200
* Aspirin: 466
* Acetaminophen (Tylenol): 179
* Marijuana: Zero. Not a single fatal overdose in all medical history.

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