Amendment 2, or the right to medical marijuana, would allow the legalization of medical marijuana under certain conditions. Registered marijuana treatment centers would be open to patients and caregivers who have been issued a license by a doctor (Ballotpedia 2014. A medical marijuana license is not available to everyone. A person must have a diagnosis of a “debilitating medical conditions” like cancer, HIV, or glaucoma. The Florida Department of Health would regulate medical marijuana. It would also issue identification cards, and create procedures for treatment centers. The following sections will cover the pros and cons, as well as how the poor can get it if they don’t have the means to pay. I will also discuss my personal feelings about Amendment 2 and legalization.
There are many health benefits to medical marijuana, including the relief of chronic pain from an illness or stress relief after a busy day.
Research has shown that medical marijuana can be used to treat certain symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and pain caused by cancer or AIDS. CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta stated that marijuana has a low potential for abuse and that there are legitimate uses. Gupta also stated that marijuana sometimes works. Arthritis is a common condition that affects older adults. There is no cure for this disease. However, marijuana has been shown to be effective in relieving the symptoms. Rheumatology stated in 2006 that CBM (cannabis-based medicine) produced statistically significant improvements on pain movement, pain at rest, and quality of sleep. While there are many legitimate benefits to medical marijuana, some people still disagree with this view and feel that legalizing medical marijuana would be detrimental to society.
Supporters of Amendment 2 and legalization of marijuana argue that it could lead to an increase in crime.
Bishop Ron Allen stated that marijuana would lead to more crime and poverty in Berkeley. He explained that research shows that marijuana has the exact same effects on the pleasure center in the brain as heroin or crack cocaine. (OpposingViews 2014.) Mason Tvert, who is a supporter of marijuana, disagrees with Allen. He claims that Allen doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and that marijuana has been shown to be less addictive and toxic than other drugs. Online dispensary canada “The truth is that medical associations all over the country, and more than 80 percent of Americans believe marijuana can help seriously ill patients (Opposing views), states Tvert. The University of Texas at Dallas conducted a study that found legalizing marijuana could reduce robbery, homicide and other crimes (Ferner 2014).
Another problem with marijuana is its potential to become a gateway to other dangerous drugs like heroine or cocaine. According to the Eagle Forum, “The body’s THC levels are constantly changing so pot smokers often use other drugs to get high (ProCon 2014). Sue Rosche, President and Founder of National Families in Action, says that the issue received extensive media coverage. California’s teens heard the message and their marijuana use has increased by almost one-third since then, from 6.5% up to 9.2%, according to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. It is still on the rise: 1997-6.8%; 1998-7.4; 1999-8.4%. Even if marijuana use continues to rise, and it is legalized in some states, how will poor families get it if it’s not affordable?
California’s City of Berkeley recently announced a new law that requires marijuana dispensaries to donate 2% of their cannabis proceeds to low-income individuals starting in August next year (OpposingViews). If they decide to legalize marijuana, this could be a good law for other states such as Florida. The donation law allows poor people to access the marijuana they require. It is sold in California for at least $400 per ounce. This price represents the street value of medical marijuana plant-form. Other forms, such as extract or liquid, may be more expensive. State regulation ensures that people with severe medical conditions, such as those affecting the elderly, have access to medical marijuana.
All the evidence supporting medical marijuana’s amazing benefits, I vote for amendment 2. My grandmother has epilepsy and I believe that a prescribed dose of marijuana can help her or any other patient with the symptoms. Why not allow her to take a pill or give other patients the same dosage? The Epilepsy Foundation issued a statement in support of the right of epilepsy patients and their families to receive physician-directed medical care. My research has shown that marijuana does not cause death. The state of Florida has all the facts and reasons to legalize medical marijuana.