As Election Day draws near, “medical marijuana” has become a hot topic, and many have asked me about my position concerning constitutional Amendment 2. That’s simple: I am personally against the amendment because I know it is a ruse that will create defacto-legalization of marijuana in Florida. The amendment supporters are counting on those of us who are compassionate and who want to help the very sick, to ignore the very real negative consequences of legalization.
Having said that, voting on the amendment is up to you—I’m not asking anyone to vote yes or no on the amendment. The truth is that I—and everyone else in law enforcement—will comply with whatever the voters in Florida say about the issue. What I do ask is that you get educated about the issue. Please don’t fall for the superficial argument that only the very sick will get marijuana. In fact, all you have to do is look to California and Colorado to see how broad access to marijuana resulted from legalized marijuana for “medicinal reasons”—only about 6% cite very serious illnesses such as cancer, ALS, and HIV/AIDS in order to legally smoke pot, while the other 94% claim to have “other conditions.”
Here are five loopholes intentionally written into Amendment 2:
- The amendment language states that “a person” can obtain “medical marijuana.” Well, who’s a person? You’re a person; I’m a person. Our children are also “a person.” Because there’s no prohibition against teenagers getting legal access to medical pot, we will see increases in kids and young adults smoking pot.
- There is a “caregiver” loophole: the amendment allows “caregivers to assist patients’ medical use of marijuana.” There is no qualification to be a caregiver other than you have to be 21-years-old and have no more than five “patients” at any given time. That’s it. There’s no medical license, education, or training required. Felons and drug dealers can be caregivers.
- Amendment 2 provides a list of debilitating illnesses where physicians can recommend “medical marijuana,” but it doesn’t stop there. The amendment goes on to say, or for “other conditions.” What are “other conditions?” Conditions like: “My back hurts,” “I can’t sleep at night,” or “I have some stress in my life.” With a loophole like this, there’s no limit to who will be eligible to smoke pot.
- Under Amendment 2, the grower, the caregiver, and the recommending physician will be civilly and criminally immune to liability. There is no protection for the consumer nor accountability for those who deal out bad pot.
- Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers can not only make smoked marijuana, but under Amendment 2 they will be able to develop “other related products” containing marijuana. Products like gummy bears, lollipops, ice cream, sodas, candy, cookies, and “pot”-tarts. Doesn’t this sound like they’re marketing to our children?
There is much more to learn about this amendment. Please take the time to go to https://www.facebook.com/DontLetFloridaGoToPot to learn more.
Remember, how you vote is up to you. Please take the time to read the amendment, learn about the issues, educate your friends, and vote your conscience – Florida’s future depends on you.
Grady Judd, a guest blogger, is the Sheriff of Polk County, Florida.