Monday, August 3, 2009

Effort Underway to Legalize Medical Marijuana in Florida

Crohn's Keeps popping up in medical marijuana articles..the lastest an article related to legalizing medical marijuana in Florida. Personally, I don't smoke marijuana (I won't say whether or not I did or didn't on a regular basis for a period of time), and I haven't decided how I feel about this. Maybe in a flare-up, but I would hope that semi-healthy Crohn's patients don't partake. For Crohn's sufferers, hey whatever works. Although i can't imagine how hungry someone on prednisone and smoking herb would be. Talk about the ULTIMATE munchies! Ugh.

A group of Floridians organized as People United for Medical Marijuana (PUFMM) has begun an effort to put a medical marijuana initiative on the November 2010 ballot, according to a report from PUFFM. The group needs some 687,000 valid signatures of registered voters in the next nine months to qualify.

The group is not affiliated with any national organization and says it needs $5 million for the signature gathering drive and the election campaign. Unlike more traditional initiative campaigns, PUFMM is relying heavily on Internet-based activism. The group's Facebook page already has 4,800 members, and PUFMM is counting on cascading new memberships to gather what it hopes is 1.2 million signatures, providing a very comfortable cushion at validation time. PUFMM is also hoping for each signatory to kick in $5. That way, the group could meet its self-imposed budget goal."Patients need a safe, affordable and effective medication. We hope Florida will lead the nation in marijuana research to further its uses as a medicine," PUFMM head Kim Russell, whose father suffers from Parkinson's Disease, told the Cape Coral Daily Breeze.

"There is absolute support, we just have to get everyone organized," she said, citing favorable national polling data.If approved, the petition would create a constitutional amendment that reads as follows:"(a) No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property or otherwise penalized for the cultivation, purchase, use or possession of marijuana in connection with the treatment of Alzheimer's, cachexia, cancer, chronic pain, chronic nervous system disorders, Crohn's disease, epilepsy and other seizure disorders, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, diseases causing muscle spasticity, or other diseases and conditions when recommended by a physician."(b) This section shall be self-executing. The legislature, however, may provide by general law for the voluntary registration of persons intending to exercise their rights hereunder and for the regulation of the distribution and sale of marijuana to persons intending to exercise their rights hereunder."(c) Nothing herein, however, shall be construed so as to prevent the legislature from enacting laws penalizing the operation of motor vehicles, boats, watercraft or aircraft while under the influence of marijuana or regulating the use of marijuana by minors.

Similarly, all laws in effect at the time of adoption of this section penalizing the operation of motor vehicles, boats, watercraft or aircraft while under the influence of marijuana or regulating the use of marijuana by minors shall remain in force."The proposed amendment does not create limits on the number of plants or the amount of usable marijuana patients may possess. It appears to leave that up to the legislature.

In fact, PUFMM would prefer that the legislature just went ahead and passed a medical marijuana bill and is asking people to write to their representatives in the hope of achieving just that. "We are hoping they will submit a bill rather than a ballot initiative," Russell said. "The Internet is a huge resource for us.

"While the effort is just a week old, it has already been denounced by the Florida Sheriff's Association and by Bill Janes, director of Florida's Office of Drug Control. "When we increase the availability of marijuana we increase the availability for young people," Janes said. "What this petition doesn't address is how the marijuana will be controlled. Will we just allow random growing of marijuana?"


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting-- I'm a regular reader of your blog. My boyfriend suffers from severe Crohn's and marijuana has truly been a life saver. We were both skeptical at first, but now we wish more patients knew it could help. The biggest change is the giant decrease in bathroom visits, but it also seems to help his sleep, stress, and pain levels. Seeing as though it has a lot less side effects than other medications he's taken, it's well worth the extra boxes of cereal we go through :)

It's a real shame the drug has such a stigma, as I think other Crohn's patients could benefit from it as well. It would be nice to see some more testing and research done.

Rosie said...

I'm horrified at the thought of prednisone and marijuana together- valid point!

Could you imagine? 6 wks on prednisone I gain 20 pounds....I wonder if you would need to be on any other medications (a the time of taking marijuana) and what the dangers a certain combo could lead to...

Thanks for always posting all of these great articles!

William said...

Florida US Senate candidate Shawn M. Teeters announced his support for legalized medical marijuana on his Facebook page Monday 9/23/09. His statement read “Yes I support medical marijuana.”
Amazing Marijuana Facts:There are five types of cancers that marijuana stops tumor cells from spreading: brain, breast, lung, pancreatic, and prostate.”
Teeters is running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate for 2010 against Gov. Charlie Crist and former state House Speaker Marco Rubio.

There is currently a Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiative in Florida collecting signatures on a petition to support a constitutional amendment that gives patients the right to grow, obtain, purchase and possess medical marijuana under a doctor's supervision.

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