Florida has become a state on the battleground of legalization of medical marijuana, and there continues to be watchdogs that look for who is behind the opposition of legalization and patient rights in Florida. We search and scour keywords to find those that are trying to keep medical marijuana inaccessible. With a few petitions heading to Tallahassee, we are seeing more patients becoming vocal about allowing patients the right to grow their own medicine.

Buried under many articles, one name seems to elude the limelight, even with his outspoken voice and his repeated statements opposing marijuana. “They start with marijuana when they’re 14, 15 years old, therefore random drug testing should begin in middle school.” States David Seigel of the Westgate empire.

David Seigel is one of the richest men in Florida, and the richest in Orlando. He makes the most reprehensible statements throughout an interview on The Ted Show, alongside Pete Crotty who is running for office on Mr. Seigels dime. This is the breakdown of those statements. You can find the entire Ted Show episode here.

Random drug testing children? Talk about creating insecurity, lack of trust, and curiosity. This also seems like it teeters on a few constitutional rights, but that doesn’t surprise many with the ongoing money pit called “The War on Drugs.”

David Seigel, real estate mogul, has been putting his opinion to this matter for years now, and in several cases says marijuana is responsible for the opiate crisis because it starts with marijuana.

We think there may be a solution to Mr. Seigel’s confusion. Decriminalization of the marijuana plant due to the overwhelming scientific evidence should clear all this “gateway drug” nonsense up. Marijuana comes from the Cannabis plant and has been used as medicine for centuries. It passed in Florida by an overwhelming 71.3% in 2016.

Still, Marijuana has been classified as a Schedule I drug, the highest rank by the Drug Enforcement Administration, since the 1970s. Marijuana’s listing amongst the most dangerous drugs has been heavily influenced over the years by politics, propaganda, and public opinion; while advocacy groups have been working to change it for decades according to the International Business Times, that produced an article in Feb 2015. Two years later, marijuana is still listed as a Schedule I drug.

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Somehow avoiding being interviewed on this subject, and Mr. Seigel seemingly selecting his outlets for this discussion, he was recently on a live feed repeating, once again, the need for random drug testing in middle schools, as well as stating that marijuana is a gateway drug. And according to David, when he asked prisoners recently, they ALL overwhelmingly allegedly said it started with marijuana. Because of his elusive interviews and using political platforms to talk about the opiate epidemic while advertising the drug Narcan, we question his relationship with the pharmaceutical drug company that manufactures it.

According to the website Drug Rehab Siegel is adamant that drug testing is the solution to preventing American youth from starting drugs. He wants to establish drug testing programs for every middle school, high school, and college in the country, and hopes that implementing drug testing in schools on a regular basis will deter students from starting the use of drugs altogether, ultimately saving the future leaders of the country.

That same website listed under the tabs defines cannabis addiction: Primarily consumed as marijuana, cannabis is a sedative with hallucinogenic properties. Marijuana use has soared since 2007. A SAMHSA survey on drug use found that 19.8 million Americans admitted to being current marijuana users in 2013 compared to 14.5 million people in 2007. More than 50 percent of new illicit drug users start with marijuana.

He strongly backs the drug Narcan or naloxone hydrochloride.

Let us break that drug down:

*Narcan Nasal Spray is intended for immediate administration as emergency therapy in settings where opioids may be present*

Now the warnings of Narcan from drugs.com

* Warnings and Precautions

Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that can reverse an opioid overdose. Naloxone access increased between 2010 and 2014
Death, coma, and encephalopathy have been reported as sequelae of these events. These events have primarily occurred in patients who had pre-existing cardiovascular disorders or received other drugs that may have similar adverse cardiovascular effects. Although a direct cause and effect relationship has not been established, after use of naloxone hydrochloride, monitor patients with pre-existing cardiac disease or patients who have received medications with potential adverse cardiovascular effects for hypotension, ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation, and pulmonary edema in an appropriate healthcare setting. It has been suggested that the pathogenesis of pulmonary edema associated with the use of naloxone hydrochloride is similar to neurogenic pulmonary edema, i.e., a centrally mediated massive catecholamine response leading to a dramatic shift of blood volume into the pulmonary vascular bed resulting in increased hydrostatic pressures.

According to Jennifer Doleac, of the University of Virginia, and Anita Mukherjee, of the University of Wisconsin—who looked at the time period before and after different naloxone-access laws were put into place, such as providing legal immunity to people who prescribed or administered the drug and allowing anyone to buy naloxone in a pharmacy without a prescription.

After naloxone-access laws take effect, they found, arrests related to the possession and sale of opioids went up, as did opioid-related ER visits. Meanwhile—and most worryingly—there was no overall impact on the death rate. In fact, in the Midwest, the implementation of naloxone laws led to a 14 percent increase in opioid-related mortality, they found.

Simply put. Naloxone distribution increased OVERDOSES! Below you will find a chart illustrating what happens in States that pass medical marijuana laws.

medical marijuana lowers prescription drug use

Critics of naloxone distribution have claimed that it could lead to an increase in risky opioid use, but a study in Massachusetts showed rates of opioid-related emergency department visits and hospital admissions were not significantly different in communities with low or high implementation of OEND programs.

Is David Seigel implying that the solution for the opiate crisis is a drug that will save someone after they have taken opiates? It all seems a little backwards to us. Does he have a financial interest in Narcan?

On the website Drug Rehab. It is stated that the real estate mogul and wife lost their daughter to a prescription overdose. Something many of us have been touched by.

The article states “Victoria’s story mirrors those of many others struggling with addiction. In high school, Victoria suffered from anxiety. She started seeing a psychiatrist to treat her condition, which is where her drug use began. The psychiatrist prescribed Xanax to treat Victoria’s anxiety. Siegel admits that at that time, he was unaware of the potential dangers of Xanax and other prescription medications.”

*We did not see medical marijuana or cannabis listed in any articles pertaining to her untimely passing so we are confused why David Seigel, who has a platform and financial ability to save thousands of lives, would isolate marijuana as a drug that is responsible for the death of opiate users.

We would like the opportunity to educate Mr. Seigel on the fact that marijuana is indeed an exit drug. And in rebuttal to his last interview (aired live on The Ted Show, March 28, 2018), invite him the opportunity to understand that cannabis is not a drug, but in fact a plant that has provided many an exit to opiate addiction, seizure and pain relief, anxiety and depression help, as well as PTSD and a multitude of mental and physical conditions. There are still no reported deaths from cannabis.

A link to the side effects associated with Naloxone

Cannabis is safer than Naloxone. Throughout all of recorded history there is not one documented case of Cannabis causing death.

We understand the passion behind losing someone to drug addiction of any sort, but we must not spread falsifications and propaganda about cannabis, nor imply the hundreds of thousands of cannabis patients that are “retarding their lives” as stated in the above video from The Ted Show.

Please, Mr. Seigel, explain your research to the National Institute of Health, who recently released a study showing traumatic brain injured mice treated with cannabis had better longevity and their mortality rate dropped significantly.

“A positive THC screen is associated with decreased mortality in adult patients sustaining TBI”

The one article we did find and were directed to from Harvard, points clearly to them saying until Marijuana is rescheduled, there is no conclusive way for Harvard to accurately state any long term or short term effects. Even more is the fact some of these studies did NOT account for the strains rather being Indica or Sativa for anxiety.

Simply put, there is no research and the research that is available from Canada allows room for margin, considering the strains not being noted nor the strength of THC in the studies from other countries.
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The danger in spreading falsifications about cannabis is that it deters patients the right to take control of their addiction and choose the way they feel comfortable with treating. Cannabis is medicine. It, unlike Narcan, has been used for thousands of years throughout the world to treat a variety of ailments. The danger in keeping the truth about marijuana silent is indeed more opiate deaths and removing a solution for opiate addiction by denying Methadone and opiate users a safe exit. The danger of not giving the right information, such as Mr. Seigel has done, is allowing more pharmaceutical drug companies to create drugs to stop… drugs? The solution Mr. Seigel seems to be leaning towards is more government pill mills and subsequent programs that fail and put control back into government. What we need is cannabis education, even if that education starts with the richest man in Orlando, with an estimated net worth of $900 million dollars, I will still offer my knowledge to him for free.

The danger in referring to a medicine that is saving lives by the minute, is David deters families seeking treatment by throwing Marijuana into a negative light. When in fact Marijuana has become an exit drug for many veterans and Opiate abusers.
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We have reached out to Mr. Pete Crotty, running for District 3 in Orange County, who seemingly nods in agreeance with David about marijuana being a dangerous drug. He has not responded with a reply or statement yet. The two are shown in the video speaking extensively on the overdose subject.

As we await, Mr. Seigel and Mr. Crotty’s firm and clear stance on this subject, we will be working alongside Harvard to provide accurate statements from the University, as their name and reputation is of the utmost importance.

Dr. Joseph Rosado provided this comment when we reached out.

“As a medical physician, I have chosen to support individuals suffering with ongoing chronic diseases and chronic non-malignant pain, with medical marijuana over harsh pharmaceutical drugs and opiates, respectively, that sometimes cause more issues than help.  I am constantly asked, “What are the risks associated with a child under 12 on five to six anticonvulsant medications?” To which I respond, “It’s difficult to know exactly how ALL of those medications are affecting these children, however, I see more of them coming off more pharmaceutical drugs which allows them to live healthier lives with medical cannabis.”

Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, MBA, is a licensed Florida physician that tis certified to recommend medical cannabis.  He is treating hundreds of patients with medical marijuana that suffer from multiple chronic medical conditions.

Tricia Dennis
Founder We Are R.A.R.E
Independent Journalist Florida Marijuana
Editing Stephanie Ziemann

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