Pubdate: Sun, 26 Oct 2014
Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL)
Copyright: 2014 Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Author: Chuck Palmer


The proposed constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana is
a sham. Nothing in the Florida Constitution prohibits the use of
marijuana for any purpose; instead, laws passed by the Legislature and
signed by the governor set the ground rules.

For example, Florida statutes already permit physicians to prescribe
Charlotte's Web, a noneuphoric strain of marijuana.

Since it is easier to frame and update the laws based on emerging
scientific findings, the proposed constitutional amendment is unduly
rigid, as well as unnecessary. In addition, the proposed amendment
contains a number of flawed provisions, which have been identified and
described by a group of seven retired state Supreme Court justices.
These defective provisions would generate lengthy, nettlesome and
costly litigation.

Even more important, the proposed constitutional amendment would, for
the first time, authorize use of marijuana for a broad including many
of which are not truly debilitating and which can be treated
effectively with other available medications.

The decisions as to what substances are used for medicinal purposes
should continue to be made in accordance with widely accepted,
well-established nationwide scientific protocols, not by means of a
loosely drawn public referendum.

There is no acceptable justification for cavalierly loosening the
regulatory reins over controlled substances. Habitual use of marijuana
can have deleterious effects on many adolescents and adults, thereby
generating unfortunate consequences for the individuals, their
families and the community.

The proposed amendment should not be enshrined in the state

Chuck Palmer

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