Mary Jane, take away the pain

Recently the state of Florida voted yes on Amendment 2 to legalize medicinal marijuana for citizens with specific debilitating diseases as determined by a licensed state physician.

This is a fantastic step forward for the field of medicine as the taboo of marijuana as a medicine is being lifted from people’s minds all around the nation. An astounding 71.32% of people voted yes on the amendment.

This passage of this amendment is finally going to legalize many people in the state of Florida who were caught jumping through the hoops of the legal system to get the treatment they needed.

Amendment 2 is creating a system of identification for patients designated to receive marijuana for medicinal purposes. This identification system will be run by the Department of Health. In addition to this it requires the Department to oversee the production and distribution of the medicine.

A common argument against the legalization of medicinal marijuana is that people will be able to abuse the system; this, however, will not be the case under this system. The wording of the bill specifically states that a patient can only be issued their identification cards if they are suffering from a “debilitating disease”, such as cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder, and several other diseases.

Although these diseases are explicitly stated, it is important to note that the amendment also states that the practicing physician can authorize the use of the medicine if the patient is suffering from “other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated.”

This means that it is left to the physician to decide who needs the treatment. Another argument is that children should not receive the medicine as it will get them high. This is simply not the case: the medicine given to the children is typically an extract of the marijuana plant which only contains the CBD compound, which is what seems to have the best medicinal effect.

Medicinal marijuana has helped many people afflicted with these debilitating diseases, especially children who are suffering from epilepsy. There have been several examples from around the United States of the benefits of medical marijuana.

The vast majority of seizure medications have side effects that almost rival the effects of the seizures themselves. The medications leave the patients as shells of their former selves and typically render them lethargic, unaware, and can often create mood swings.

The decision to legalize the use of medicinal marijuana is an extremely progressive one for Florida. It was also the right decision to make as this medicine will now be available to people who experience tremendous pain daily. It’s a big step forward for Florida. The decision will go into effect in January 3, 2017.

In this Oct. 8, 2014 photo,  Tabitha Winslow, stands outside the traveling bus, showing her support for marijuana reform laws during a rally in Boca Raton, Fla. The debate over legalizing medical marijuana in Florida constantly generates talk of young people potentially flooding the polls. But seniors are the most reliable voters and could be key to the measure’s success. Though polling on Amendment 2 has been erratic, seniors have been showing a level of interest in the initiative that underscores the fact they may benefit most from its passage. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
In this Oct. 8, 2014 photo, Tabitha Winslow, stands outside the traveling bus, showing her support for marijuana reform laws during a rally in Boca Raton, Fla. The debate over legalizing medical marijuana in Florida constantly generates talk of young people potentially flooding the polls. But seniors are the most reliable voters and could be key to the measures success. Though polling on Amendment 2 has been erratic, seniors have been showing a level of interest in the initiative that underscores the fact they may benefit most from its passage. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

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