Pubdate: Sat, 01 Nov 2014
Source: Palm Beach Post, The (FL)
Copyright: 2014 The Palm Beach Post
Author: Jon Mills
Note: Jon Mills is a former speaker of the Florida House of 
Representatives and dean emeritus of the University of Florida 
College of Law. He defended the Amendment 2 ballot wording before the 
Florida Supreme Court.
Page: 15


Retired Air Force Capt. Jeff Lahman served 25 years in the Air Force, 
including time in special ops.

He ended up with a series of injuries and post-traumatic stress 
disorder (PTSD). He and his wife, also an Air Force officer, lived in 
Arizona. He was prescribed a large dose of oxycodone and other 
painkillers. Those prescription medicines brought him to a new low.

A doctor suggested he try medical marijuana. He did and it changed 
his life. He was himself again. His wife saw the difference. Just 
last year, Lahman moved to Florida. He is a strong supporter of 
Amendment 2 because it would allow him to legally consult a Florida 
doctor about using medical marijuana.

Cathy Jordan was diagnosed with ALS in 1986 and given five years to 
live. She and her husband, Bob, moved from Delaware to Florida hoping 
a milder climate would help her condition. Doctors offered every 
prescription possible. Nothing worked. She began hoarding drugs with 
thoughts of suicide. She tried medical marijuana with the help of 
Bob, and it worked. It acts as a muscle relaxer, antidepressant and 
stimulates her appetite. In 2013, six officers entered her home and 
confiscated her medical marijuana.

Christopher Cano lives in Tampa. He was arrested for possession of 24 
grams of marijuana he had bought to ease his father's terminal 
dementia. Doctors had given Christopher's father a year to live when 
they diagnosed him in 2010.

Christopher had used marijuana to successfully treat his father's 
debilitating condition, appetite loss and insomnia for four years 
until his arrest in April.

Jeanette Bokland spends every day caring for others as a nurse in an 
Orlando. The side effects of her chemotherapy treatment for breast 
cancer almost drove Jeanette to quit fighting her cancer altogether 
until a friend from Colorado recommended medical marijuana. Jeanette 
now feels like herself again. Do we believe she should be arrested?

Jeff, Cathy, Christopher and Jeanette all live in Florida. If they 
lived in any of 23 other states they could lawfully count on access 
to a treatment that works in each one of their unique cases.

Medical marijuana is an option for people in 23 states and the 
District of Columbia, but not in Florida.

Voters should seek the truth about medical marijuana and not be 
misled by hypothetical horror stories. Amendment 2 provides many 
people suffering from debilitating medical conditions with a better 
option to treat their pain than oxycodone and other addictive 
prescription drugs.

States that allow medical use of marijuana have seen a 20 percent 
drop in oxycodone deaths. There is no rise in crime because of 
medical marijuana. These states also haven't seen any increase in use 
of marijuana among youths; in fact, some have even seen a decline in 
youth consumption.

Amendment 2 does one simple thing: It allows a Florida citizen to 
seek the advice of a licensed Florida physician about whether medical 
marijuana can help them. Only if the doctor concludes that they have 
a debilitating condition will they be able to obtain medical 
marijuana from a state-licensed dispensary.

We don't know when we ourselves will become patients who may benefit 
from medical marijuana. But we all know someone who could have 
benefited from at least the option of something that can reduce pain 
and suffering.

Don't Floridians deserve that chance?
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom