In just six days on Dec. 5 the Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether or not a proposed medical marijuana initiative already in the signature-gathering process will be allowed to move forward.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says that the language proposed would open the floodgates for rampant abuse of the medical marijuana program. Medical marijuana supporters – including nearly 80 percent of Florida voters – think Bondi is horribly out of touch.
The Supreme Court is considering whether or not the language is accurate and whether or not it truly is about a “single subject” or does it combine issues that should be separate. Bondi says the bill is hiding the supporter’s “true purpose”, which is outright legalization.
As currently written on the petition, patients would qualify for a medical cannabis recommendation for conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, Parkinson’s and “other conditions” if the physician thinks the patient would benefit from it.
|Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.|
The laws would allow for medical marijuana patients to grow their own supply or assign a private caregiver to grow for them. The state would also regulate medical marijuana “treatment centers”, where patients could purchase marijuana in a retail setting. Details of the bill, including how much cannabis each patient would be allowed to possess would be left up to the state health department to decide if the bill is passed.
Bondi says “any physician could approve marijuana for seemingly any reason to seemingly any person (of any age)-including those without any ‘debilitating disease,'” she wrote in an 18-page letter to the state Supreme Court. “So long as a physician held the opinion that the drug use would likely outweigh the risks, Florida would be powerless to stop it.”
Basically, Bondi is saying she knows better than Florida physicians what medical treatments work and don’t.
More than 700,000 people have to sign the ballot initiative before it can be put on the ballot for voters in 2014, however People United for Medical Marijuana say they are well on their way with more than 100,000 signatures so far.
Trial attorney and financier of the People United for Medical Marijuana says Bondi’s attack this early is just another attempt by the conservative-controlled government to block medical cannabis.
“Medical marijuana has been proven to give our loved ones relief they need, helping with pain, appetite, seizures and spasms,” Morgan says in a radio ad. “Unfortunately, Tallahassee politicians refused to vote on the issue last session. They wouldn’t even hear testimony from patients and their families.”
A Quinnipiac University poll in early November showed that voters approved of allowing Florida doctors to
recommend “prescribe” marijuana by a whopping 82 percent.