Amendment 2 All About Pain!

By: Barney Bishop | Posted: June 12, 2014 3:55 AM
Barney Bishop

Barney Bishop

The Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) announced Tuesday the launch of their Don’t Let Florida Go to Pot Coalition, which is about educating the public on the dire impact if Amendment 2 is approved allowing medical marijuana.

FSA President Grady Judd said this amendment was a “wolf in sheep’s clothing … cleverly written so that there can be use and abuse.”

That sums up what this amendment is really about. While it is ostensibly about helping people with serious illnesses, in fact it can just as easily be used by anyone able to find a doctor to “recommend” its use.

We all know too well that there are doctors who will be glad to “recommend” med weed just like they were willing to prescribe pain pills ad nauseam. Billboards popped up all along the I-95 and Florida's Turnpike in South Florida advertising pain clinics that would dispense as many pills as you liked. 

The problem became an epidemic and hundreds of people, most if not all never experiencing any pain, would die because of their eventual addiction. Now after a concerted effort over many years by Attorney General Pam Bondi, the Legislature and law enforcement, pill mills in Florida have disappeared and the doctors have been prosecuted.

If this amendment passes, we will simply replace pill mills with pot shops. A fiscal analysis by the Florida Department of Health predicts there will be about 1,800 pot shops around the state. 

So, despite the protestations by the campaign manager for United for Care, which is spearheading the amendment, “this is about getting relief to really sick and suffering people” --  that’s not true and they know it.

The facts are that before Colorado legalized recreational marijuana they had medical marijuana. Only 6 percent of the people smoking med weed got it for a debilitating disease. Ninety-four percent got it for “pain,” which of course can’t be measured objectively. Yet, doctors were willing to give it to people as long as they paid the fee. And that’s what will happen in Florida.

The sheriff also stated that children could access the med weed without parental consent. A skeptical reporter asked how that would be possible.

Simple. Caregivers, who can be anyone, are free to give it to whomever they want, including children. There are predicted to be about 250,000 caregivers in Florida.

One hidden gem for the proponents is that the amendment language provides a liability waiver for the grower, the doctor and the smoker. Left holding the marijuana baggie will be the employer, who also just happens to be the deepest pocket.

You can call trial attorney Amendment 1 originator John Morgan many things, but you can’t say he’s stupid. This brilliant but subtle move will be a bonanza for our litigious society.

Finally, there’s the ubiquitous argument that polling is all over the place on the amendment. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The difference in the polling numbers is all about how the question is asked. If a pollster just asks if you’re in favor of medical marijuana, you’re going to get a number in the mid to high 80s. 

But, if you ask the question as it will appear on the ballot, the numbers are in the mid to high 50s, below where the number needs to be for passage. And that’s before any negative advertising. 

The prophecy that this amendment is going to pass is just that – a desire. The real reason this amendment is on the ballot is to help Charlie Crist become governor by incentivizing Democrats to rush to the polls and pull the lever for Charlie while looking for a joint in return.

If the amendment passes, more than half a million med weed smokers have been projected!

For almost 40 years, America has been fighting illicit drug use. Most of us started on marijuana back when we were in college. For those fortunate not to have an addictive personality, we stopped there.

But for hundreds of thousands of people, substance abuse has become a habit that is nearly impossible to break. Florida now spends more than a billion dollars annually treating individuals who can’t stop their habit. 

And that’s before we even contemplate the societal consequences on their families and children.

Need we spend more for all of the new people who will suddenly begin to feel pain – real or imagined? Do we need to pass this amendment just to help those who are chronically ill and deserve some relief? 

To me the answer is this: Just Say No!

Barney Bishop III, one of the most familiar faces within the state business community, is CEO of Barney Bishop Consulting LLC in Tallahassee.

Tags: News, Columns

Comments (21)

Nick Burns
3:08PM OCT 9TH 2014
Greed is the answer. If you're against, it's either because you're already making money somewhere on the criminalization side, or you have not yet positioned yourself to make money if it were to be legalized. At a minimum it SHOULD be De-criminalized
8:46AM JUN 14TH 2014
Greed is the republicans drug of choice
ken bucklin
2:12PM JUN 12TH 2014
you are an idiot spouting lies
12:58PM JUN 12TH 2014
If everybody that believes in the good that Medical Marijuana will do will go out and vote Yes on Amendment 2 the blivets such as Barney can just cry in their booze. You know they are lying when they describe such things as the number of shops, since the supporting laws have yet to be written. Anti Amendment 2 folks have no heart. So what if MM is used for pain? It is a lot safer than the legal opiates. PLEASE VOTE YES ON 2. Thank You
9:34AM JUN 12TH 2014
Simple truth of the matter is marijuana should be made legal period. The United States has squandered money and lives with its ridiculous war on drugs. Stop this nonsense and make it legal in all 50 states.
This article just bolsters the argument that the anti-weed people are just clutching at straws with no facts to support their stance.
Who is the idiot Barney Bishop anyway?
Andy Johnson
9:22AM JUN 12TH 2014
Clearly this writer is a relic of the uneducated dark ages regarding drug policy and science.

In addition, this article is misleading at best and intentional propaganda at worst. For example, the sentence "Florida now spends more than a billion dollars annually treating individuals who can’t stop their habit" infers that the state or federal government pays for marijuana rehab, when there is no such program in existence. However, there is over a billion spent on incarceration for non violent Marijuana users, all at taxpayers expense.

It's time for common sense to prevail in Florida. Think for yourself.
Frank Czap
9:18AM JUN 12TH 2014
As a Colorado resident, I can assure you that this is all hype. Once established and settled down, Colorado tax revenue increased bynalmost $2 milloin dollars in less than a year since legalization. Noone is abusing pot, users are using as they always have except now they have an outlet to purchase pot which is far safer than buying on a street corner. Those using for medical reasons have to pay for thier permits and doctor appointments. The difference is discounted prices and no tax. The system works, generates revenue for the state used for the homeless, housing projects, social programs. Pot is already here to stay and will continue to be bought and sold regardless of Amendment 2. Controlling and taxing provides a safer environment to buyers, reduces corner dealers, and increases state revenue by millions of dollars. Once approved and put into place it is a win-win for smokers and non-smokers. Yes we still have a few holes to iron out put thats being done and working well. Wake up, pot will never go away.We spend billions to keep it out of the country, but once legalized that market is dead and those dollars can be used much more wisely, like for education of our youth. Minister Frank Czap, Iron Horse Ministry, Aurora, CO
9:16AM JUN 12TH 2014
Thank you for explaining all the ways this amendment benefits John Morgan. I was wondering why that shyster was pushing it.
Tim Garvey
9:15AM JUN 12TH 2014
Surprise, Barney Bishop Consulting LLC works for the prison system! Shame on you, sir.
Andy Johnson
9:25AM JUN 12TH 2014
I am not surprised. Follow the money and you will see the reason behind the misinformation.
10:02AM JUN 12TH 2014
Just like if you follow the money you can see why John Morgan is really behind this.

"Morgan and Morgan: *For* the money."
8:47AM JUN 12TH 2014
You can tell who is 65+ when it come to this argument. In case you didn't know marijuana is READILY available on the black market. You aren't going to have thousands of more users because of Medical Cannabis - all you will be getting is jobs and taxes!

Vote Yes on #2! Make sure everyone you know votes - we need this!

Looking to work in the FL Medical Cannabis Industry? Check us out at HempStaff dot com
8:45AM JUN 12TH 2014
I have no issue with legalizing Cannabis, it will increase revenue for the entire state.
What I want to see is a constitutional amendment elminating law enforcement in its current form and end this corrupt establishment... I'm sure we can rebuild it in a more beneficial way.
8:27AM JUN 12TH 2014
8:27AM JUN 12TH 2014
Sounds like there are some old ignorant people still set in their ways. This one sided report should never have been published. Do your research before you end up looking like the idiot doctor from CNN.
Joe Snodgrass
8:05AM JUN 12TH 2014
Sounds like the establishment's reasoning since 1937. Law enforcement wouldn't want to loose it's chain gangs. Can anyone show that anyone with out pain or need will be able to obtain medical marijuana?
Substance abuse will continue the same as it has throughout the years, whether it is legal or illegal, that's why it's called substance abuse. To say this abuse will lead to other problems is a rationalization used since the beginning of government control. I am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. I did not start out as an abuser of either one and did not become an addict because I abused either one. I am an addict and even though I've been clean and sober for 26 years, I'm still an addict. Alcohol is available at practically every convenient store and is proven to kill over 88,000 per year, over 1600 per week, so where is the reasoning. Help for diagnosed patients is no comparison to self medicating users. Yes legalization and decriminalization of marijuana is long over due. We are no longer in the 1900s...
7:56AM JUN 12TH 2014
BB seems a bit mentally constipated and refuses to look and understand the world around him. I have a couple of questions to BB

- Have you ever taken the time to research, truely research who, then and why MJ was made illegal?
- Have you ever taken the time to research why MJ was made a schedule 1 narcotic.
- Have you ever taken the time to research the effects that prohibition had upon innocent people.

Just a few questions, there are so many more.

Please take your ignorance out of our laws and use a bit of intellect.
don smith
7:55AM JUN 12TH 2014
Mary Jane
7:40AM JUN 12TH 2014
Top 5 Reasons Barney Bishop is clueless

1. Comparing opiate pill addiction to Pot (which isn't additive)

2. Never smoked pot a day in his life (though talks like he is a expert)

3. Couldn't tell me the difference between THC and CBD

4. Thinks more kids should die of epileptic seizures

Just say no, to Barney Bishop.
Jim Dobbins
5:54AM JUN 12TH 2014
"The problem became an epidemic and hundreds of people, most if not all never experiencing any pain, would die because of their eventual addiction."

Thanks for revealing that you know [filtered word] all about marijuana.
Bob Dole
4:38AM JUN 12TH 2014
Typical tripe from an idiot from the south. Every state that has medical cannabis has watched crime rates go down, and tax revenue go up.

Barney Bishop is a fraud and not even a Floridian :D

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