Mannix About Manatee: Floridians should vote on medical marijuana issue

December 8, 2013 

Would you vote for medical marijuana in Florida?

I would.

So would 82 percent of Floridians, according to a recent poll by the recognized Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

If it ever gets on the ballot.

Whether the proposed medical marijuana amendment makes it to next November is presently in the hands of the Florida Supreme Court, which will decide on the constitutionality of its wording.

According to the proposed amendment, a debilitating medical condition is a prerequisite -- i.e., AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, multiple scleroris and Parkinson's disease.

It also states there are other debilitating conditions -- i.e., chronic pain -- for which a physician could decide to prescribe medical marijuana.

Is that too broad?

Therein lies the crux of the issue, which went before the Supreme Court last Thursday.

Attorney General Pam Bondi, represented by Solicitor General Allen Winsor, argues we'll be misled into voting for widespread use of medical marijuana and turn Florida into one of the most lenient medical marijuana state of those -- 20 plus Washington D.C. -- where it's already legal.


Jon Mills, the attorney representing ballot proponents, said voters will know precisely that they would be voting on. That is, allowing doctors to use their professional judgment whether to prescribe medical marijuana.

Thank you.

We are not all idiots.

We are not children.

We are citizens who should have the right to decide whether medical marijuana be made available under the proper auspices to treat Floridians who need it.

Bondi doesn't get that.

Neither does House Speaker Will Weatherford or state Senate President Don Gaetz, who are also opposed to this and have consistently scuttled medical marijuana bills.

They're more concerned about adhering to their ideological bona fides than doing what Floridians, their constituents, want them to do.

This is not legalizing recreational marijuana.

This is about enabling someone in dire straits to have some comfort, some quality of life.

Like Parrish resident Cathy Jordan, the personification of this issue, who suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease.

Bondi's representative argued you don't even have to have a disease to get medical marijuana.

Doctors could prescribe it for chronic pain.

So what?

If you've got a degenerative hip, a herniated disc or arthritic knees and surgery isn't an option, you're in agony.

What does Bondi know?

She's not a doctor.

She's a politician.

It's time Tallahassee showed people such as Cathy Jordan some compassion, a nonexistent quality to date.

But that's probably asking too much.

Will we get to vote on the medical marijuana issue next November?

Don't hold your breath.

So to speak.

Mannix About Manatee, by columnist Vin Mannix, is about people and issues in Manatee County. Call Vin at 941-745-7055. Twitter: @vinmannix

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