Pubdate: Sun, 08 Jun 2014
Source: Orlando Sentinel (FL)
Copyright: 2014 Orlando Sentinel
Author: Dan Sweeney
Page: B2


Unlike many colleagues in the Democratic Party, U.S. Rep. Debbie
Wasserman Schultz says she has serious reservations that keep her from
supporting Amendment 2, the state constitutional amendment that would
legalize medical marijuana in Florida.

"I have concerns that it is written too broadly and stops short of
ensuring strong regulatory oversight from state officials," she said.
"Other states have shown that lax oversight and ease of access to
prescriptions can lead to abuse, fraud and accidents. Also, given
Florida's recent history in combating the epidemic of 'pill mills' and
dubious distinction as having among the highest incidents of fraud, I
do not believe we should make it easier for those seeking to abuse the
drug to have easy access to it."

Wasserman Schultz's opposition to the state constitutional amendment
puts her squarely in the camp of Republicans, a position unusual for
the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

Indeed, the DNC is already distancing itself from its chairwoman's

"She was speaking as a mom and a member of Congress on her personal
concerns on a local issue," DNC press secretary Mike Czin said. "The
DNC has not taken an official position on this ballot initiative. We
leave it to the good people of Florida to make that decision."

United for Care, the group responsible for getting Amendment 2 on the
ballot, was swift in its denunciation of Wasserman Schultz.

"It's difficult to say whether Ms. Wasserman Schultz believes sick
people should be kept from their medicine, or whether she thinks the
public servants at the Department of Health are incompetent and would
implement the amendment irresponsibly," said Ben Pollara, United for
Care's campaign manager. "But both positions are puzzling, unfortunate
and wrong."
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