Medical marijuana opposed by many Florida leaders

December 12, 2013 

Marijuana Goes Mainstream

FILE - This Feb. 13, 2013 shows different strains of marijuana are displayed during the grand opening of the Seattle location of the Northwest Cannabis Market, for sales of medical marijuana products. It took 50 years for American attitudes about marijuana to zigzag from the paranoia of "Reefer Madness" to the excesses of Woodstock back to the hard line of Just Say No. And now, in just a few short years, public opinion has shifted so dramatically toward pragmatic acceptance of marijuana that even those who champion legalization are surprised at how quickly attitudes are changing and states are moving to approve the drug for medical use and just for fun. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

ELAINE THOMPSON — AP

In response to columnist Vin Mannix, it is not just the politicians in Tallahassee who oppose the medical marijuana constitutional amendment. Attorney General Bondi, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida Medical Association, Florida Police Chiefs Association, and the Florida Sheriffs Association and others have taken a stand against "medical" marijuana because the language is misleading and it is bad for Florida.

The language allows for youth without parental consent to get a recommendation for marijuana. The potency of marijuana is now 150-700 percent times greater than in 1970, from less than 1 percent to 20 percent and higher THC content depending on the strain.

Youth use of drugs is directly correlated with their perception of harm and adult attitudes. Let's not forget the drop in 6-8 IQ points for chronic marijuana users. Don't make it harder for Floridians to get and maintain good jobs. Adults need to protect kids.

Worth noting is that marijuana is the most detected illicit drug occurring in auto fatalities. These numbers have increased in states that have legalized "medical" marijuana.

Remember pill mills? Florida doctors with questionable ethics set up shop and Florida gained notoriety because 98 of the 100 high prescribing doctors were in Florida. Marijuana would be another opportunity for crime and fraud because it is a cash business.

Research has shown the benefits of certain cannabis plant components and they are available by prescription. The Gupta special highlighted a child suffering from retractable seizures. Cannabis oil with little or no THC content relieved her seizures and it was not smoked. Smoked marijuana (with no additives) has more carcinogens than tobacco and has been shown to cause deficiencies in immune response.

Let's continue to research the beneficial properties of the cannabis plant and help those who truly need it and deserve it.

Dr. Jessica M. Spencer

Bradenton

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