With only a few days until the November election Florida prepares to decide whether to pass Amendment Two, a constitutional ballot initiative brining medical marijuana to the Sunshine State. A difficult task ahead, Amendment Two would require 60% of those voting to vote in favor of medical marijuana if the Amendment is to pass. This high standard of 60% is a requirement as dictated by the Florida constitution.
The battle lines have been drawn with Amendment supporters pointing to the therapeutic benefits brought to those with debilitating illnesses; and the Amendment opposition citing concerns of legitimizing drug dealers and giving school children access to marijuana.
Fortunately for Florida voters there is a model state we can turn to when evaluating the pros and cons of medical marijuana, the state of Colorado. Those who are opposed to medical marijuana hate to look towards the Centennial state because the post medical marijuana statistics fail to support their anti-marijuana agenda. Traffic fatalities did not rise faster than a national average, children did not begin using marijuana at a higher rate, and drug dealers did not become untouchable to law enforcement. Rather than accepting that medical marijuana isn’t the evil they believed it to be, Amendment Two opponents resort back to their nonsensical propaganda and continue their battle against the seriously ill. And this point is where Florida’s voting public should focus their attention. A vote against Amendment Two is a vote against the seriously ill. Voting against a system that would tightly control the production and sale of marijuana to ill patients is no threat to the school children of the state. Walk into any high school within the state and I can guarantee you marijuana is not only present on the school’s campus but it is also easier to get than alcohol. Marijuana is already available to the general public through the black market and the argument that tightly regulating it would make marijuana more accessible fails any test of logic or common sense.
On November 4th, don’t fall victim to the Reefer Madness hysteria. There are Floridians stuck in hospital beds who can’t find relief from pharmaceutical drugs. And before we as a state deprive them of basic comforts and dignity, let’s look west towards Colorado where a medical marijuana state has flourished and showed us how to properly care for the seriously ill.
Julian Stroleny, Esq. is a criminal defense attorney located in Miami, Florida. A Florida native and former Miami-Dade prosecutor, he is a medical marijuana expert passionately advocating for the use medical marijuana for those with a qualifying condition. Mr. Stroleny frequently tours the state of Florida lecturing on medical marijuana and marijuana laws.