The issue has been positioned as the Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, Amendment 2 on the 2014 ballot in Florida.
If passed with 60% approval it will change the Florida Constitution to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana. Unfortunately, what most people do not realize is that the effects of marijuana, these days, are equivalent to mental health drugs. Too many young people, unwittingly, smoke marijuana only to end up in the psychiatric ward on a 72 hour hold due to the psychotic effects of today’s marijuana.
Exactly what ailments can be treated with medical marijuana is left a bit vague in the proposed amendment which states:(1) “Debilitating Medical Condition” means cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis or other conditions for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.
What exactly are “Other conditions”? Out in California, medical marijuana dispensaries first appeared in 1996. Today some of them now advertise – “open 24 hours a day for diagnosis and immediate purchase”. The complete list of ailments that can be treated with medical marijuana runs to 206 conditions! This includes just about any complaint of mind or body such as:
- Alcohol Abuse
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Anxiety Disorders
- Any chronic medical symptom that limits major life activities
- Back Pain
- Bipolar Disorder
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Chronic Pain
- Cocaine Dependence
- Genital Herpes
- Tension Headaches
- Major Depression
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
- Tobacco Dependence
- Writers’ Cramp
The Florida Supreme Court ignored the obvious risk of abuse and ruled that the ballot wording was acceptable and the amendment as written should be voted on by the citizens.
Initially Florida was looking into the version of medical cannabis nicknamed “Charlotte’s Web” after a Colorado child. It is high in non-euphoric cannabidiol (CBD), and low in tetrahydrocannabinol THC) which is what gets people high when smoking the plant. Charlotte’s Web is administered orally as an oil and not smoked
But the proposed law is now going to legalize the THC versions. THC in the 1960’s and 1970’s marijuana was in the range of 1% in 1974 and 4% in 1994. With improved growing techniques THC levels reached 9.6% in 2008. Today THC routinely runs to 14% and can be higher in designer plants.
The higher THC makes it addictive and capable of causing bad mental and emotional conditions including hallucinations, memory loss, apathy,lack of motivation, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, schizophrenia and other psychosis.
Long term marijuana use also creates physical injury to lungs and brain cells. Prenatal use of the drug may result in premature births, birth defects, mental abnormalities in the baby and increased leukemia risk.
Kevin Sabet, PhD., director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida argues against medical marijuana. “This is another example of how this industry is turning into big business. [It’s] today’s version of big tobacco.”
He and other marijuana opponents know there will be more accidents on highways and at work. More and more heavy users will fill up the healthcare system. They know marijuana marketers are targeting young people and our sagging school education will suffer even more. So will employers who’ll have to deal with increased tardiness and absences.
Opponents also point out marijuana is not medicine. Doctors can’t control doses or possibly toxic side effects.
Sabet believes that the push for medical marijuana In Florida isn’t about helping the sick – but about profit.
“They’re using compassion as a smokescreen for a larger agenda,” he said.
The pattern is to first achieve medical marijuana acceptance, followed sooner or later by the legalization of marijuana for recreational use and this pattern was created by design.
A few days ago a “Washington Times” article revealed the financial contributions made by billionaire George Soros and others to see that marijuana is legalized across the USA.
“Through a network of nonprofit groups, Mr. Soros has spent at least $80 million on the legalization effort since 1994, when he diverted a portion of his foundation’s funds to organizations exploring alternative drug policies, according to tax filings.
His spending has been supplemented by Peter B. Lewis, the late chairman of Progressive Insurance Co. and an unabashed pot smoker who channeled more than $40 million to influence local debates, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. The two billionaires’ funding has been unmatched by anyone on the other side of the debate.
Mr. Soros makes his donations through the Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit he funds with roughly $4 million in annual contributions from his Foundation to Promote an Open Society.
Mr. Soros also donates annually to the American Civil Liberties Union, which in turn funds marijuana legalization efforts, and he has given periodically to the Marijuana Policy Project, which funds state ballot measures.”
He is also infamous for his financial manipulations that have collapsed national currencies in order to line his pockets or advance his geo-political ideas of world government at the expense of national sovereignty. He would think nothing of bringing down the US as a world power and a population of pot smokers could assist in that regard. His Open Society Foundations tax return showed an annual budget of $3.5 billion dollars in 2011 for its pet projects.
The movement to legalize marijuana has not been created because the average person is demanding it – it has been created by big money aided by willing Hollywood celebrities jumping on the bandwagon.
Medical marijuana in Florida has not been immune to this financial lobbying effort.
John Morgan is a well know Orlando trial lawyer due to his billboards and radio ads “Morgan & Morgan, For the People.”
He is funding a group called People United for Medical Marijuana.
One of the employees in his law firm is Charlie Crist, now the Democratic candidate for Govenor in Florida in 2014. Crist, formerly a Repulican, then independent and now Democrat heavily supported Barack Obama and Obamacare. Mr. Crist has stated he will vote for the medical marijuana amendment. It was noted that Morgan’s law firm could benefit from having Crist in the governor’s office, with veto power over legislation unfavorable to trial lawyers.
Apparently Morgan has $20 million in TV ad time he reserves each year for Morgan & Morgan and he has said he’s prepared to swap out some of his firm’s air time for ads for medical marijuana should he need to.
Morgan likes to say that “no one has ever died from smoking marijuana” but a 19-year-old Wyoming college student on spring break in Colorado just fell off a balcony to his death after eating a pot-laced cookie. The Denver coroner said this is believed to be the state’s first death linked to marijuana since legalization began in January 2014.
Morgan may not need to spend his own ad money on marijuana. “The Washington Times” reported that George Soros was the person who donated 80 percent of the money to John Morgan’s “United for Care, People United for Medical Marijuana.” ensuring that the medical marijuana legalization got on the ballot
The medical and legal recreational marijuana market is a huge business and projected to grow from $1.4 billion to $10.2 billion over the next five years. People looking for a quick buck or a long term new business dispensing pot to Americans are springing up in Florida in expectation that the amendment will win here.
Recently in Tampa, over 100 people paid $299 each for a one day class to hear veterans of the marijuana industry discuss how to run a business when pot goes legal in Florida. It was hosted by the Cannabis Career Institute (CCI) “America’s Premiere Cannabis Business Seminar”. Attendees were lawyers, accountants, business folk and stoned dreamers hoping to learn how to comply with federal and state marijuana laws to and set up business plans for medical marijuana dispensaries and grow operations. CCI plans classes all round Florida in the coming months.
There is also a marijuana college in Tampa now. “Cannibis College” was created by a company called Medical Marijuana Tampa. They offer a four week course for $499.00 called “Education in Cultivation” They can’t use marijuana in class yet so pepper plants suffice for now in teaching advanced growing techniques for medical-grade marijuana.
They have 18 employees and have graduated 100 people. They intend to keep hiring and open 15 medical marijuana dispensaries in Tampa Bay assuming there is success with the November election.
The Medical Marijuana Tampa website has the latest social media style animated video offering to “Let us simply your journey to obtaining your medical marijuana treatment.”
You just reach out and get “your very own advisor”. They provide the paperwork, preparing you for your first medical marijuana appointment and help you and your doctor select the best strain of marijuana for your treatment.
Just download an information kit, get your doctor to sign it, mail it in the prepaid mailing envelope or arrange for a professional courier to pick up your forms at your house for free.
Then simply order online or by phone and go pick up your marijuana at their nearest location or have it “discreetly delivered to your home”. You then get unlimited re-orders.
They guarantee “an easy pleasant respectful experience”
They also state that “Patients with this card may cultivate or purchase, possess and consume medical marijuana.” – a significant point of misinformation as the proposed law specifically prohibits patients from growing their own marijuana.
Another wild card is the fact that the US government could change the whole legal status of marijuana at anytime. Under the federal Controlled Substances Act, the attorney general has the authority to “remove any drug or other substance from the schedules if he finds that the drug or other substance does not meet the requirements for inclusion in any schedule.”
Attorney General Eric Holder was asked on April 4th about the administrations position on marijuana as an illegal drug and replied:
“We’d be more than glad to work with Congress if there is a desire to look at and reexamine how the drug is scheduled, as I said there is a great degree of expertise that exists in Congress. It is something that ultimately Congress would have to change, and I think that our administration would be glad to work with Congress if such a proposal were made.”
And President Obama has said that his administration will not enforce the Controlled Substances Act which is why the state run centers never get raided for breaking federal laws.
Hopefully citizens can hold the line on medical marijuana in November and not approve this amendment.
Florida businessman and blogger Pat Clouden is writing a series of articles to educate Floridians about marijuana and urging them to vote “No”. He points out that according to SAMSA statistics emergency room visits caused by marijuana use jumped from 16,251 in 1991 to 374,000 in 2008 due to the stronger THC levels.
He wisely points out where all this is headed when he writes, “So with people turning up at hospitals and doctor’s offices with symptoms of schizophrenia, psychosis, depression or anxiety—where do you think they are going to end up? Yes, that’s my guess too—right on psychiatric lines and psychiatric drugs. And don’t think that’s accidental.”