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Website launches to fight medical marijuana in Florida

A political action committee fighting medical marijuana in Florida launched its website Thursday, including a nine-minute video laying out potential pitfalls with how the system might work.

Grady Judd, president of the Florida Sheriff's Association, said the proposed constitutional amendment is a stalking-horse for legalizing pot and enriching dope dealers.

He notes that Floridians with various conditions would qualify, contending that even sleeping problems or stress might do the trick.

Other legal and community leaders contend that children will be able to acquire medical marijuana without parental consent and that pot docs will set up shop next to schools.

Amendment 2's ballot language indeed allows licensed physicians to certify patients by determining that they have a "debilitating medical condition" and that potential benefits of pot outweigh potential risks.

The amendment language is silent on issues such as parental consent and location of dispensaries. If the measure passes in November, the Florida Department of Health will create the regulatory structure on such matters and may well require parental consent for minors and buffer zones for schools, as is common in other states.

But that is not certain. Under the amendment, implementing regulations must be "reasonable" and "ensure the availability and safe use'' of marijuana for certified patients. Anyone who considers the regulations to be unreasonable could sue the state to change them.

The website — voteno2.org — was created by the Drug Free Florida Committee, a PAC underwritten by St. Petersburg developer and former ambassador Mel Sembler. It describes the effort as "a grass roots campaign bringing the truth about Amendment 2 to the voters of Florida."

Included is a way for people to contact the committee or make donations.

Stephen Nohlgren can be reached at nohlgren@tampabay.com.

Website launches to fight medical marijuana in Florida 05/15/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 15, 2014 9:04pm]
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