Past evaluations by multiple agencies, including the NIH, California
Medical Association and the American Cancer Society, found that many sound
scientific studies support medical use of marijuana for treatment.
Further, significant human data from states where medical marijuana is
legal support the safety and efficacy of it for general medical use. Our
protection as consumers relies on the ability to adjust policy based on
new information, and marijuana should not be exempt from this process.
Medical marijuana programs normalize marijuana use and send the message
that, if it is medicine, it must not be very interesting to rebellious
youth. Someone who smokes marijuana regularly would not have any of the
same respiratory problems as cigarette smokers -- in fact, light marijuana
smokers have better lung capacity than non-smokers. Persistent coughing,
bronchitis and more frequent chest colds are speculative myths.
Second-hand smoke exposure to others is likewise not a huge concern.
Research has not linked marijuana use to birth defects, respiratory system
damage, cancer, mental illness, violence, infertility, or immune system
damage in any way that shows cause and effect.
States that have passed laws to allow for the medical use of marijuana
have witnessed the positive effects and are now working to pass
legalization bills to remove barriers to access, research and availability
for general therapeutic purposes.
Proponents of medical marijuana do not want you to believe that only those
with debilitating medical conditions, who have unsuccessfully sought out
other approved treatment, will qualify for medical marijuana. We believe
that marijuana is a beneficial substance that is safe to use
experimentally until effects are known to the individual and his or her
Available data from states that have passed similar laws show that less
then 10% of medi-pot users are cancer, HIV/AIDS, or glaucoma patients.
Should we forget about them?
Well over 90% cite "chronic pain," an indefinable term that is being used
to cover medical conditions such as headaches and minor arthritis, neither
of which are contraindicated for cannabis therapy.
We know the unintended consequences of failing to adequately define pain
that is allowed to be treated with powerful and addictive medications.
Florida is working hard to curb our prescription drug epidemic. We cannot
afford to enhance the disaster of pill mills by refusing to allow safe,
therapeutic access to marijuana.
Marijuana prohibition significantly impacts our environment, prevention,
healthcare and treatment costs, and the potential for escalation to
further illicit drug use when marijuana is not available.
Please consider all efforts to legalize marijuana, especially as a
medicine, in Florida!