A Look at

Florida’s Medical Marijuana Legislation

Like many states these days, Florida is currently weighing whether or not to legalize the medical use of marijuana. Currently, the language of the law is being debated, because many lawmakers are afraid that the current language of the legislation would legalize the drug even for those who do not have a debilitating disease. At any rate, Florida has gained the 700,000 signatures needed to get the measure on the November ballot, so it will be up to voters to decide whether the medicinal use of marijuana should be legalized. According to the wording of the amendment, passing it would legalize not only the use of medical marijuana, but also its purchase, possession, and cultivation.

Why

The reason for proposing the legalization of medicinal marijuana is simple- it works. Medicinal marijuana has been shown to have a widespread number of benefits on a host of different diseases and conditions. It can stimulate appetite and ease pain for cancer patients, reduce seizure activity, alleviate anxiety, and much more. Equally importantly, it can achieve these effects without the dangerous side effects associated with many pharmaceutical drugs intended to have the same effect.

How

The amendment will be decided by voters in November. So far, there has been overwhelming support for the amendment from both parties, though there is certainly opposition to be faced. It is not yet clear whether the amendment will ultimately pass, but with such widespread support, there are certainly many who are hopeful. Passing the Florida medical marijuana amendment would mean that those who can show a clear medical need for medicinal marijuana would be able to be licensed to receive it.

Who

There are a number of people who would be able to receive a license for medical marijuana in Florida, and the chances are good that the number would continue to increase as research continues into the many treatments for which the drug can be used. Medicinal marijuana is currently used for a wide range of health conditions, but new research shows that it has promise for treating many more. In addition to patients who will use medical marijuana, caregivers who dispense medical marijuana to those in their care will also receive an identification card that allows them to possess the drug.

It is not yet certain whether marijuana will be legalized in Florida, but there are certainly many doctors, caregivers, patients, and families who are hopeful. Separate from the medical marijuana bill that will be given a vote in November is a bill known as Charlotte’s Web, which is named after a girl in Colorado who was given a non-psychoactive form of marijuana to help with debilitating and potentially lethal seizures. This particular form of marijuana is given orally in the form of sublingual drops, and may be legalized for patients suffering from a specific seizure disorder. Both the Charlotte’s Law bill and the medical marijuana amendment are leaving many people hopeful, and there is a good chance that at least partial legalization is on the horizon.

Sources:

http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=002481

http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2013/dec/17/pam-bondi/pam-bondi-says-amendment-would-make-florida-one-mo/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/05/florida-medical-marijuana_n_4393093.html

http://fcir.org/2013/12/04/florida-medical-marijuana-amendment/

http://ballotpedia.org/Florida_Right_to_Medical_Marijuana_Initiative,_Amendment_2_(2014)

           

 

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