I have made it quite clear that I am in support of Amendment 2 in the state of Florida, to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana for the treatment of pain and other issues associated with living with such horrible diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and others. Medical studies have already confirmed that the medicinal use of marijuana has given relief to many patients that other prescription medications have not had success. So if it works, then why not use it?
Early voting has begun in the state of Florida, and of course I received a phone call this morning from a “poll worker” urging me to vote, and to vote against Amendment 2. Now while my decision already to support Amendment 2, I was courteous to at least let the caller explain why I should vote against a measure that would provide a humane treatment to people suffering?
The answer was extremely disappointing, but not shocking. Because it is the same answer, and the only answer that those who oppose Amendment 2. “Voting to approve Amendment 2 will legalize recreational marijuana. This will lead to an increase in crime, driving under the influence, and lots of lazy stoners.” Yes, they actually used the word “stoner” making reference to the “pleasant” or “happy” mental state that results from smoking marijuana. But when I informed the caller that they were not being truthful about the call, I was asked, what was not true that they were saying?
Well, for starters, Amendment 2 is for the legalization of medicinal use of marijuana, not for recreational use. I told the caller there was no way my vote for or against medicinal marijuana was going to have any impact on the legalization of recreational use of marijuana, which by the way, was not even on the ballot at this time. And of course, the response was, “yes, but legalizing it for medicinal use will mean that it will appear on the next ballot to make it completely legal.” Not likely.
Still surprised the caller had not hung up on me yet, my next question was, how many people did the caller personally know who have died or been hurt by any form of marijuana, legal or medicinal. Then I asked the caller how many people have died from cigarette smoking, or injured (I was not going for the throat with “killed”) from drinking and driving? The caller snapped back that the issue of medicinal marijuana had nothing to do with smoking and drinking, and that is not why they were calling.
But I insisted, what if the person had cancer from smoking, or liver failure from drinking, and medicinal use of marijuana was the only way to find affordable and effective relief? No surprise, the caller hung up.
I read an editorial the other day in the SW Spotlight (October edition) written by Dr. Douglas Pratt. Do not get excited, his is not a medical doctor, but rather a pastor in southwest Florida. His opinion caught my attention because of the strategy he used to draw the readers into his argument and support his cause, anti-humane against Amendment 2, and for no other reason, than because of fears. He even jokes, “voters need to wake up and see clearly through the ‘smoke screen’ (pun intended) of the pro-marijuana lobby.”
For a description of Amendment 2, you can go to this link:
You can decide for yourself, if this is just a “smoke screen” as Pastor Pratt claims. But where Pratt is seriously wrong in his written effort, is his claim, and it is his claim and opinion only, that the concern is “for a handful of suffering people with chronic conditions.” This statement is the biggest lie of all from him, as with just one disease alone, cancer, affects millions of people every year. Millions of people suffer from the effects of Lou Gehrig’s Disease. And I can name the stats on nearly every horrible illness. But I do not have to. You know the truth.
Speaking of the truth, Pratt eventually gets to the crux of his editorial/opinion. He quotes an Arab parable, to come across as biblical which of course would have to make it true, something about letting a camel stick its nose inside of a tent, and eventually the whole camel will be in there. Of course, many of us have probably had that experience with house guests, but to use it in the context of arguing against medicinal marijuana and the relief of suffering not otherwise helped by other prescribed opiates and means, I am sorry, that is not “smoke” I smell, but rather an odor I have not smelled since living next to a dairy.
Pratt went on then for the remaining two thirds talking about the social ills of recreational use of marijuana. He is timing his opinion to confuse voters who want to support Amendment 2, making voters believe they are voting for something that they are not.
AMENDMENT 2 IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA IS FOR THE LEGALIZATION OF MEDICINAL USE OF MARIJUANA! And it is that simple. So if you have ever had to watch a loved one suffer with no relief by other conventional means as I have done twice this year alone, then you know the humane thing is to vote YES for Amendment 2 in the state of Florida.
Let’s keep the issue to the facts. This Amendment is only about helping those suffering, not the “social ills” of society as one writer believes it to be. When we talk about tobacco and alcohol being illegal because they are proven to kill not just the users, but others around them, or at the wrong place at the wrong time, then you can argue about recreational use of marijuana. But Amendment 2 is not that argument.