Pubdate: Sat, 18 Oct 2014
Source: Tampa Bay Times (FL)
Copyright: 2014 St. Petersburg Times
Note: Named the St. Petersburg Times from 1884-2011.
Author: John G. Chase
Page: A10


Re: Hopes for pot start to wilt Oct. 16

Opponents of Amendment 2 claim that it casts details in concrete. 
They also claim it is not sufficiently detailed. Both claims ignore 
political reality.

The amendment's word 'certification' is used only because a 
'prescription' for marijuana would violate federal law. And the 
opponents' claim that Amendment 2 protects a 'certifying' doctor from 
a malpractice suit is laughable. Ask any malpractice lawyer.

The open-ended list of treatable diseases simply recognizes today's 
reality. According to WebMD, 'More than one in five outpatient 
prescriptions written in the U.S. is for off-label therapies. The 
term 'off-label' means the medication is being used in a manner not 
specified in the FDA's approved packaging label.' Opponents express 
their concern that a felon can become a caretaker and that patients 
will resell their pot. Not likely. Both must have a marijuana related 
ID issued by the Department of Health, and nothing in the amendment 
blocks legislators from demanding tighter restrictions.

All of these, and the claims that children are not protected, will be 
dealt with when the Department of Health writes the regulations, 
watched closely by Florida's conservative Republican-led Legislature. 
This is the reality of Amendment 2.

John G. Chase, Palm Harbor
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