Over the last few years, there’s been controversy on whether or not medical marijuana should be legalized in the United States. Today, 25 out of the 50 states have laws legalizing medical use in some form. In this upcoming elections, Floridians will have the option to vote YES on 2 and potentially become the 26th state to legalize medical marijuana.
Amendment 2 in the Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative is the measure that would legalize medical marijuana in Florida. Specifically, the amendment states the following:
- Medical use of marijuana by a qualifying patient or personal caregiver will not be subject to criminal or civil liability or sanctions under state law.
- A licensed physician will not be subject to criminal or civil liability or sanctions for issuing medical marijuana to a person diagnosed with a "debilitating medical condition" under state law.
- Registered medical marijuana treatment centers will not be subject to criminal or civil liability or sanctions under state law.
A "debilitating medical condition" is defined as cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, hepatitis C, HIV, AIDS, ALS, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease "or other conditions for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient."
The two main chemicals in marijuana that are of medical interest are THC and CBD. THC-based medications that are FDA-approved are used for increasing appetite and reducing nausea. THC may also decrease pain, inflammation, and muscle control problems.
CBD may be useful in controlling epileptic seizures, reducing pain and inflammation, and has the potential to treat mental illness.
Scientists are currently conducting trials with marijuana and marijuana extracts to treat numerous conditions and diseases, such as:
- Multiple sclerosis (MS): Causes gradual loss of muscle control
- Alzheimer’s disease: Causes loss of brain function, affecting memory, thinking, and behavior
- Substance use disorders
- Mental disorders