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Opposition to Amendment 2 strengthens among medical, religious, judicial, and law enforcement leaders and communities

Opposition to Amendment 2 strengthens among  medical, religious, judicial, and law enforcement leaders and communities  

Christina Johnson

      TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (September 28, 2016) – The VOTE NO on 2 campaign today released a list of state and national respected organizations, associations and professionals, all of whom have voiced their opposition to Florida’s Amendment 2 appearing on the November ballot.

“We are thrilled to have the strong support of these respected leaders and entities who agree that there is nothing medical about marijuana,” said Christina Johnson, spokesperson for the VOTE NO on 2 campaign. “As Florida voters begin to cast their ballots on Amendment 2, it is vitally important they understand that this is no more than legalized pot and has no place in Florida’s constitution.”

The following have publicly stated their opposition and concerns against Amendment 2: Florida Baptist Convention (FBC), Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops (FCCB), Florida Chamber of Commerce and Florida Farm Bureau (FCC, FFB), Florida Medical Association (FMA), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Epilepsy Society (AES), American Medical Association (AMA), Five former Supreme Court Justices penned this opinion editorial: Parker Lee McDonald, Chief Justice 1986-1988; Justice 1979-1994 Stephen H. Grimes, Chief Justice 1994-1996; Justice 1987-1997 Major B. Harding, Chief Justice 2000-2002; Justice 1994-2009 Raoul G. Cantero, III, Justice 2002-2008 Kenneth B. Bell, Justice 2002-2008

     Here’s what leaders are saying:

Florida Baptist Convention

“… the State Board of Missions of the Florida Baptist Convention implore pastors to diligently encourage their church members to vote to defeat Amendment 2.”

Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops

“At first glance, the proposed amendment appeals to a sense of empathy and implies safe and limited use by the infirm; however, closer inspection reveals that the framework established by Amendment 2 is problematic.”

Viewpoint: Don’t be duped by marijuana Orange County, CA, Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, Pensacola News Journal, 09/25/16   “And while our legislature has had a difficult time reforming the law, they do at least have the power to fix it. That would not be the case in Florida, because Florida’s Amendment 2 would be embedding this California-style marijuana law in the state’s constitution. Once it passes it will be impossible to fix without another constitutional amendment. Florida’s legislature, law enforcement and local government won’t be able to touch it.”   “So yes — California’s medical marijuana law was a joke. Even the coauthor of the law admits it — describing medical marijuana dispensaries as little more “than dope dealers with storefronts.” But it looks like the same joke is being played on Florida, only there would be no hope of fixing the inevitable problems and unintended consequences.”

Editorial: Nancy was right: Just say no  The Ledger, September 18, 2016   “How will making marijuana more prevalent keep it out of the hands of children who are not patients?

Pollara oddly sought to reassure us by suggesting students already know how to obtain pot. He also noted that in Colorado, where recreational use is legal, teen usage has not changed. Additionally, he maintained that there has never been a documented death from a marijuana related overdose.”   “That may be, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that 60,000 children nationwide are hospitalized each year for drug overdoses related to pilfering an adult’s prescribed medication. How can we know pot, when in a form resembling other medicines, will be adequately safeguarded?”   A September 18, 2016, Orlando Sentinel article by Gray Rohrer reported:

[Orange County Sheriff and Florida Sheriff’s Association President Jerry] “Demings said he thinks Amendment 2 would increase illicit use of marijuana, which he deems a “gateway” to harder drugs.

“Our top priority is the safety of our citizens and communities,” said [Florida Police Chiefs Association] FPCA executive director Amy Mercer. “We are concerned that without clear guidelines for enforcement or even appropriate regulation, this amendment may create more problems than it intends to alleviate.”

“Though it’s being billed as about medical, we know it’s about recreation,” Demings said. “It’s the wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

Polk County Sheriff and past Florida Sheriffs Association president Grady Judd The Ledger, August 24, 2016   “At the end of the day, smoked marijuana is not medicine,” he said. “That’s my clear message.”

“Repeating the arguments he made in 2014, Judd said he considers the proposal a first step toward allowing unconditional use of marijuana. Despite changes in the wording of the measure, he said it still contains loopholes that could easily be exploited. Judd also pointed to a law passed in this year’s legislative session as a reason Amendment 2 isn’t needed. The law allows terminally ill patients in their final days to use marijuana for palliative care. Another law passed in 2014 allows Floridians with severe epilepsy or cancer to use an oil derived from marijuana plants bred to be low in THC, the compound that causes psychological effects.’”   “The Florida Legislature heard the people of the state of Florida in the last election … and the Legislature went out and passed a medical marijuana law,” Judd said. “If you need marijuana for a medical purpose in Florida today, you can get it.’”   Viewpoint: Oppose Amendment 2 Florida Chamber of Commerce President Mark Wilson, Pensacola News Journal, August 7, 2016

“The Marijuana Policy Project — a lobbying group for full marijuana legalization — is trying to alleviate our concern by downplaying the number of pot shops Florida can expect to have. Why? Because they know Floridians will be justifiably concerned about the ramifications of our state being flooded with so-called medical marijuana treatment centers that look more like bong shops than legitimate pharmacies. Just Google “medical marijuana treatment centers California” to see what’s waiting for Florida, it’s not a pretty picture and it’s one reason we can’t support Amendment 2.”

Florida Medical Association to oppose Amendment 2 Frank Torres, Orlando Political Observer, August 2, 2016

“The Florida Medical Association, representing more than 20,000 physicians in our state, once again passed a resolution in opposition to the so-called ‘medical’ marijuana measure,” said FMA CEO Tim Stapleton. “There is nothing medical about this proposal, and the lack of scientific evidence that pot is helpful in treating medical conditions is far from inclusive.”

SWFL doctors say no to medical marijuana (VIDEO) Graham Hunter, NBC 2 – Ft. Myers, August 24, 2016   “‘As a physician, I don’t want medical marijuana to be the lead-in to a legalization of marijuana,’ he said. He worries medical marijuana will make it easier for kids to get pot, and also that Florida will see a repeat of pill mills. ‘The potential is there for the same thing to happen with pot mills,’ [Dr. Jonathan] Daitch said.”

Obama Administrations Rejects Attempt To Loosen Federal Restrictions On Marijuana Carrie Johnson, NPR, August 10, 2016— “The Obama administration has denied a bid by two Democratic governors to reconsider how it treats marijuana under federal drug control laws, keeping the drug for now, at least, in the most restrictive category for U.S. law enforcement purposes.”   “Drug Enforcement Administration chief Chuck Rosenberg says the decision is rooted in science. Rosenberg gave “enormous weight” to conclusions by the Food and Drug Administration that marijuana has “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,” and by some measures, it remains highly vulnerable to abuse as the most commonly used illicit drug across the nation.”   “This decision isn’t based on danger. This decision is based on whether marijuana, as determined by the FDA, is a safe and effective medicine,” he said, “and it’s not.”

The VOTE NO on 2 Campaign’s sole purpose is to expose the Amendment 2 scam.  For more information on the VOTE NO on 2 Campaign, please visit    Paid political advertisement paid for by Drug Free Florida Committee, 115 East Park Avenue, Suite 1, Tallahassee, Florida 32301, 850.339.5773

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    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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