Anti-Legalization Advocate Trying to Snuff Out Medical Marijuana Bill

By: Nancy Smith | Posted: March 5, 2014 3:55 AM
Kevin Sabet, Matt Gaetz, Irven Rosenfeld

Kevin Sabet, Matt Gaetz, Irvin Rosenfeld

Parents of perhaps thousands of children with unrelenting epileptic seizures are holding their breath today as a bill that would decriminalize light-strain medical marijuana comes under attack from a drug-policy official with no background in medicine, science or agronomy.

Kevin A. Sabet, director of the University of Florida's Drug Policy Institute, has a Ph.D. in public policy from Oxford University and a propensity for arguing against decriminalization of any part of the marijuana plant that isn't already in a clinical trial or with a pharmaceutical company. 

Sabet has prepared what he calls his "One Page Fact Sheet on CBD For Florida Lawmakers" (It's in the attachment below).  In it, he concludes that SB 843, Reps. Matt Gaetz and Katie Edwards' bill now before the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee, "would be meaningless" if passed. (See the latest draft in the attachment below.) 

Hyman Family

Weston family Danielle, Seth and 8-year-old Rebecca Hyman

"This is absurd," said Seth Hyman, father of 8-year-old epileptic Rebecca Hyman. "Every time my daughter goes into a seizure, I wonder if this is the time she won't come back to us. The Florida Legislature is all the hope we cling to. I hope they (legislators) aren't going to take what this guy says as expert opinion."

This is what Sabet says on his "fact sheet":

-- "Children with epilepsy are eligible to receive a purified CBD product (Epidiolex®) through a special FDA Investigational New Drug (IND) program"

And here's what's wrong with what he says:

These children are not eligible to receive anything. At least not in Florida. There is no such program in this state. Dr. Ian Miller at Miami Children's Hospital has applied to run clinical trials, but he hasn't heard back. Even if he gets approval, there's no telling how many children will be authorized to take the drug.

Two states, and only two states, have orphan drug programs. Florida is not one of them. Marijuana is classified by the federal government as a schedule 1 drug -- meaning it cannot legally be sent through the mail across state lines. So our sick children would never be able to join, say, the Missouri orphan drug program. Nor could they get a CBD-like product (part of the marijuana, but something that doesn't produce a "high") mailed from Colorado.

Also, each program is licensed for only 125 patients. Let's say Miami Children's Hospital runs its clinical trials and later is granted orphan-drug status for 125 patients, just as the other programs. What happens to the hundreds of children who can't sign up because the program is full?

Nancy Smith

Nancy Smith

More important, what happens to children who take Epidiolex® and it doesn't work for them? Remember, this is a GW Pharmaceuticals drug. It's made by extracting only one chemical from the weed. But children in Colorado taking the Charlotte's Web strain are getting more than 400 natural chemicals. Who's to say only Epidiolex® -- not one or more of the 400 chemicals omitted from the pharmaceutical product -- is the only right one? 

Sabet's suggestion is lame at best -- that "the Legislature pass a resolution urging an expansion of the IND program."

I can't speak for others on the Criminal Justice Subcommittee, but fortunately, Gaetz, R-Shalimar, and Edwards, D-Plantation, are unfazed. In fact, if anything, they show more resolve than before to succeed.

Asked whether Sabet's comments were offputting, Gaetz said, "He's going to be like any other advocate. It depends on his qualifications and expertise whether he'll have anything to add to this discussion. But I'm going to proceed along the path of least resistance, not the path of most resistance, to get this drug in the hands of those who need it so desperately. We owe them nothing less."

Edwards said all Sabet has done "is make me more determined. This man isn't even a medical doctor. He's like a cheerleader for Big Pharma. He tells us what 'experts' say we need to make the right cannabidiol (CBD) compound, but when I asked him to produce the experts and we'll be happy to listen to them, he doesn't tell us who they are.

"These families have suffered enough," she said. "I'll be darned if I'm going to let somebody like this bring our efforts to a halt."

You have to ask yourselves, where has Sabet been? Even CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta sings the praises of nonpsychoactive CBD, recognizing it is highly effective for many severe and chronic health problems, from shrinking malignant tumors to improving overall insulin sensitivity.

Sabet served in the White House under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, and most recently as senior drug policy adviser for President Obama’s drug czar.

More important, this co-founder and director of SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) -- nicknamed "the pot-haters club," once scribbled a mean-spirited litte note to the Boston Globe saying: “Medical marijuana is a big fat headache that serves no one but people who want to get high.”

Sabet is a hard man to take seriously. I've seen speckled trout with more feeling, and frankly, it surprises me the University of Florida -- which down the road might have brought in millions from cultivation, research and development -- actually employed him and now must watch him try to suck the life out of perhaps the most groundbreaking piece of legislation to come along in Florida in many years.

Irvin Rosenfeld, 61, is a uniquely qualified supporter of HB 843. The Fort Lauderdale stockbroker is one of only two remaining patients of the federal government who is prescribed marijuana cigarettes. Yes, prescribed. The government sends him 300 every month and has done so for the last 31 years. They come from plants grown on a University of Mississippi farm, they are low in the euphoric plant strain, and without them he couldn't function.

"I was diagnosed with a rare disease at age 18," he told me. "I have bone tumors all over my body. At age 29 the government started me on marijuana. I couldn't live with the pain without them."

Rosenfeld said he thinks he gives hope to families with intractable epilepsy -- epilepsy that drugs can't cure. They know he has a terrible illness, but they see him living a full life. "I think, I hope, it helps," he said.

"What I'd really like to do is debate this guy Sabet. I'd like to hear him tell me how bad marijuana is for me. This is what he does, you know. I mean, how cold is this fact sheet -- going out of his way to find things to discourage help and hope."

Seth Hyman said he has a question for Sabet and even the Florida Legislature: "Why should our children suffer?" he asks. "Are the children of Florida worth any less than the children of Colorado?  Our daughter has between 10 and 50 seizures a day. I don't know how many more her little body can take."

Sabet told Gaetz and Edwards the Legislature should "press the FDA to expand research sites" and "carefully examine the need in Florida." These are the worse kind of insults because they hurt so many people. As Hyman and Rosenfeld both say, this medicine has been proved to work in other states, no more research is needed.

The families holding out their arms to the Florida Legislature remind me their children have a less than 90 percent chance of living past the age of 20. They are dying. They don't need more research, they need relief, whatever it takes and quickly.

Asked what their preference would be if they could have one, they told me this: for federal and state governments to allow the importation of oil from other states.

"This is going to be a good bill if it doesn't get changed too much," Hyman said. "But there is no perfect bill. This just happens to be all the hope we have right now."

Reach Nancy Smith at or at 228-282-2423.


Comments (42)

Russ Hutchings
7:45AM MAR 25TH 2014
Who's payroll is Doctor Sabet on? Perhaps the drug companies? Our son has between 10 and 100 seizures a day and he has been approved for the Miami Children's Study. Dr. Sabet should be in our position.
Grace E.
2:18PM JUL 15TH 2014
My niece suffers from severe seizures also. I know this is probably late, but who is leading this study? Is there a doctor or team we can contact. Thank you. I tried calling Miami Children's but I can't get to an actual person.
Jim Freedom
12:52PM MAR 9TH 2014
Pot Opponents are mounting a fierce campaign to nip the industry in the bud calling Medical Cannabis a "A Smokescreen" - Taken from NBC news report on Florida's Medical Cannabis campaign known as Amendment 2 - but you can find these same prohibitionist rants with their same lame sound bites everywhere - Lets address them
Prohibitionist Statement #1 “This is another example of how this industry is turning into big business,” said Kevin Sabet, PhD., director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida. “[It’s] today’s version of big tobacco.” [fyi Kevin Sabet, PhD is a Dr. of Social Policy, his undergrad is Political Science Mr. Sabet is NOT a part of the Medical Community - Mr. Sabet is a basically a free lance POLITICIAN]
Reality Check Response - Where do we see big tobacco like business's taking over in the 20 states that have legalized medical (or recreational)? It's not happening - these markets look more like the Wine industry where smaller vineyards feed distinct branding to local dispensary's - Sorry Kevin but Cannabis industry looks more like a Bed and Breakfast Vs your Holiday Inn franchise model you claim.
Prohibitionist Statement #2 The consequences, Sabet said, will be dire and the social costs will far exceed the increased tax revenue. He and other marijuana opponents have argued there will be more accidents on highways and heavy users will flood the healthcare system. Marijuana marketers are targeting young people, opponents say, and education will suffer. So will employers who’ll have to deal with increased tardiness and absences.
Reality Check Response - When you cannot sell the truth sell the fear factor - like the Reefer Madness that helped spawn and fan the flames of Cannabis Prohibition there really is nothing in this claim to refute it's just all just bunk - consider the following;
Prohibitionist keep telling us that Cannabis causes all kinds of issues - from cancer from smoking to all out highway Armageddon! The Social Cost of medical cannabis? the social cost of Medical Cannabis will be less deaths from Opiate based drugs and more relief and a better quality of life for Floridians who need less toxic medicine.
We have had 75 years of prohibition - the NIH estimates that 5.5% of Americans use cannabis -let me actually back up my numbers - the 5.5% reference is from NIH and can be found here by searching NIH - this site won't let me post links - while its link uses the term "facts" - even the NIH acknowledges it does not know much - it's all based on surveys -but the government site shows that cannabis use amongst High School age children fluctuates between 25% and 50% - these are "Prohibition" usage rates
5.5% of roughly 300 Million Americans is 16,500,000 people who use cannabis - these claims below simply have not manifested themselves in the past - or even in the recent past of Medical Cannabis since 1996.
• more accidents on highways - No numbers to back up this claim and we have had 18 years of Medical Cannabis is the most lenient Medical Cannabis State California - So Kevin where are the body bags?
• flood the healthcare system - where do we see these numbers? I wonder if we reduced opiates and used cannabis as an alternative would we save lives?
• targeting young people - somewhere between 25-50% of HS have or are using BLACK Market Cannabis - how worse could this situation be? We are pretty sure the HS market is saturated with prohibition supported dealers - Amendment 2 is not about supporting the BLACK market - it's about allowing less toxic medicine to people who need it, in as safe a manner as possible - free of pesticides and additives.
The targeting of young people is a BLACK market issue that exists currently in HS and is a DIRECT product of Prohibition of cannabis not medical cannabis laws.
• education will suffer. As if the 25-50% of HS users is not enough suffering? Education is suffering as we have lied to the children and caused this situation - what if we spend time educating our children with the TRUTH about this plant and the need for them to fully develop before using any mood altering substances - alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis - what if we told the truth?
• increased tardiness and absences. This is again just bunk - it's no different than an employee showing up drunk - if it happens get rid of the employee -
• marijuana is not medicine. Doctors can’t control doses or possibly toxic side effects.
Reality Check Response - This is the Biggest Lie of all There are the big pharmacy brands of cannabis extracts like sativex and the US Government Patents that tell a different story - how do we explain that and balance it with the fact that 20 states consisting of millions of patients and tens of thousands of medical professionals disagree - Search for "10 Pharmaceutical Drugs Based on Cannabis" you will find the link
Prohibitionist Statement #4 In Florida, Sabet argues that the push for medical marijuana isn’t about helping the sick – but about profit. “They’re using compassion as a smokescreen for a larger agenda,” he said.
Reality Check Response - Currently there is a large existing BLACK market in Florida making profit, untaxed, unregulated focused on children - all that money goes to Gangs and Narco states
Creating a controlled Cannabis market will reduce all of these issues and yes there will be profits in a regulated market.
Why is it that Prohibitionist think taking profit away from gangsters is a bad thing?
Mike Parent
10:02AM MAR 9TH 2014
A phd in public policy makes Sabet as much an expert in drug policy as a phd in philosophy or drama. These are trumped up credentials to give him an air of validity. Sabet is a lobbyist for Prohibitionist interests he's there go to guy when they need a lie or piece of propaganda.
Mike Parent
10:02AM MAR 9TH 2014
A phd in public policy makes Sabet as much an expert in drug policy as a phd in philosophy or drama. These are trumped up credentials to give him an air of validity. Sabet is a lobbyist for Prohibitionist interests he's there go to guy when they need a lie or piece of propaganda.
Mike Parent
10:02AM MAR 9TH 2014
A phd in public policy makes Sabet as much an expert in drug policy as a phd in philosophy or drama. These are trumped up credentials to give him an air of validity. Sabet is a lobbyist for Prohibitionist interests he's there go to guy when they need a lie or piece of propaganda.
6:24PM MAR 7TH 2014
Patients and others are thrilled the legislature is waking up to the health benefits of cannabis. We regret they seem to only be looking at one strain for one ailment when well over a million other patients in Florida would benefit as miraculously with their ailments. We all hope when it comes to HB 859 - Medical Use Of Cannabis, the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act, the legislature has the same compassion, understanding and support for those that need a higher THC level like the cancer patients and so many others that suffer health ailments cannabis has shown to be so effective in helping improve their quality of life, or body's ability to function. Please let your representative know you support legalizing all the medicine for all the patients and would like them to pass HB 859 in the Florida House and SB962 in the Florida Senate.
6:23PM MAR 7TH 2014
Dr William L. Courtney, who has been studying the benefits of raw cannabis and that he states, "It (cannabis) has captures these molecules that help our bodies regulatory system be more effective. The bottom line is it's a dietary essential that helps all 210 cell types function more effectively”. He further states, “ I don't even refer to it as medicine anymore, strictly as a dietary essential". Cannabis is widely accepted and referred to as a nutraceutical, which is “Food, or parts of food, that provide medical or health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease”. We all have an endocannabinoid system that regulates the homeostasis of the other systems in our bodies by means of cannabinoids. We run on cannabinoids.
In raw fresh form cannabis is loaded with health benefits and will not get one high. It’s been said it has 60 times the healing properties compared to smoking because nothing gets burned, but instead consumed. It is the process of drying cannabis that turns THCA into THC. THCA is not psychoactive. One can consume raw fresh cannabis all day and never get high from it. A daily glass of cannabis juice has phenomenal healing properties and has saved lives, killed cancer, healed other diseases and brought those at deaths door back to a healthy life.

As a Florida patient who has proven to the court that I need it or I will die as they watched me deteriorate to the point of near toxic death, over a two and a half year court ordeal, and witnessed the amazing recovery once allowed to use the medicine again, I have a complete understanding of the critical value of the nutraceutical, the medicine, and the nature of plant/human relationship. My body slowly over time shuts down starting with my digestive system. I set out to understand why the medicine worked so well for me so I could explain it to the court. What I learned was amazing, emotionally overwhelming, and life altering. Once you understand that our bodies use cannabinoids for everything and it is a necessary nutrient for the human body to function and that in it natural raw state it is nothing but health in an herb, how can one come to any other conclusion other than it should be legal to grow in every back yard on the planet, sold in the produce department of every grocery store, served commonly in salads and as a sandwich topping, and a glass of fresh raw cannabis juice a should be as common as a glass of orange juice or apple juice. As a population control measure one may want to continue the illegality of the plant, but then that is genocide, an unacceptable practice by any government isn’t it? Do we outlaw grapes because they can be made into wine? Pharmaceutical companies continue to manufacture new addictive deadly drugs at an alarming rate, yet no one seems concerned over that. Why should cannabis medicine be treated different from any other medicine? It is simply an herbal medicine that drug companies considered a waste of time knowing they can not patent it in it best form. I think that was a huge mistake on their part, they could be manufacturing and selling RSO capsules now and bring an end to cancer as we know it, had they taken it seriously. Now we have a new industry that will continue to make strides in healing the masses. We have American Medicine and it works for many, yet there are other widely accepted forms of medicine. Medical cannabis is considered holistic medicine in many areas of the country. It has always been a part of Ayurvedic, Chinese and Korean medicines. Cannabis was widely used as medicine in this nation until 1937. Now science understands the connection between the plant and humans, it is time the nation accepts cannabis medicine as a science. In addition to American Medicine we currently have Chiropractic, Holistic, Herbal and Ayurvedic medicine being practiced here. There is room for cannabis medicine, the practice of medicine based on the endocannabinoid system and using cannabis to treat it.

Humans will always use an intoxicant. Cannabis is safer than alcohol for mind, body, and society. If we are a free nation we should have a legal choice of relaxants. Cannabis being the “Safest substance known to mankind”, according to the DEA’s Chief Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young, and never being the cause of a single death, should be legal to grow in every backyard on the planet. Is medical use a baby step to legalization, NO, it is a baby step to understanding the human/plant relationship we have with cannabis.

Since cannabis is the only thing that keeps my body functioning, (even my doctor and lawyer will atest to that) and I have seen and read of the thousands it helps in everything from seizures to cancer when all of modern medicines fail, I believe the government MUST legalize it, not doing so is a genocide, or forced chemical medical slavery. I have seen the damages of pharmaceuticals. The leading cause of addiction today is pharmaceuticals which are damaging to the body. Cannabis is a proven nutraceutical and consumed raw and fresh makes all 210 cell types work better. I believe every person on the planet should have safe legal access to such an amazing health benefit. The health of your children or grandchildren may depend on it.
Richard Steeb
12:16PM MAR 7TH 2014
"Doctor" Sabet-- Google: "anti-convulsive remedy of the greatest value", genius. Cannabis was prominently featured in the United States Pharmacopoeia from the days of O'Shaughnessy up until the time of Anslinger. "Schedule I Cannabis" is a damned lie.
Neal Feldman
12:57PM MAR 6TH 2014
"Edwards said all Sabet has done "is make me more determined. This man isn't even a medical doctor. He's like a cheerleader for Big Pharma. He tells us what 'experts' say we need to make the right cannabidiol (CBD) compound, but when I asked him to produce the experts and we'll be happy to listen to them, he doesn't tell us who they are."

Cheerleader for Big Pharma is right. None of these behind project ShAM are medical doctors r researchers...just prohibition promoters.

And so like Faux Noise with their 'some say' nonsense that they cannot actually produce.

Cannabis does not belong on *any* of the CSA schedules. It has clear and proven medical uses, it is non-addictive, has never killed its use anywhere on Earth throughout ~10,000 years of recorded human history and is no more prone to abuse than chocolate is.

Isn't it about time, after 78 years of the failed policy of cannabis/hemp prohibition, a policy that has never been based on anything but racism, greed and lies but has caused untold harm to millions of citizens as well as society as a whole, that it be ended?

Even the 1971 Shaffer report said there was absolutely no reason or justification for the policy of cannabis/hemp prohibition.
Richard Steeb
12:17PM MAR 7TH 2014
Cannabis shall be removed from CSA "Schedule I", and placed in "CSA Subchapter I, Part A, §802. Definitions, paragraph (6)", appended to the list "distilled spirits, wine, malt beverages, or tobacco", where it will STILL be the least-toxic in the category [by several orders of magnitude].

Anything short of THAT is UNACCEPTABLE.
11:56AM MAR 6TH 2014
the obvious question is, does this guy have ties to the company that produces Epidiolex? Odd that he would suggest that children can so easily get an investigational drug.
Kevin Hunt
11:22AM MAR 6TH 2014
The proposals that Sabet pushes, while dressed in science, are essentially moral judgments. This is why there is no attempt to take seriously the large body of evidence showing the beneficial impacts of cannabis use or regulated cannabis markets on human health and social well-being. His major thrust is moral entrepreneurship: to popularize negative associations such as "threatening" and "culturally foreign" with cross-cultural, millennia-old, common human-cannabis relationship behaviors such as cultivation, consumption and trade.

Sabet and his team, many of whom are specialists in addiction or are recovering addicts, such as SAM’s chairman, former congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, are not interested in this evidence. They continue with a soundbite debate society approach, which neglects the fact that millions of lives globally are ruined annually due to an unevenly applied penalty system ranging from arrest to the death penalty.
Kevin Hunt
11:19AM MAR 6TH 2014
Google "5 Biggest Lies from Anti-Pot Propagandist Kevin Abraham Sabet-Sharghi By Sunil Aggarwal, M.D., Ph.D."
11:02AM MAR 6TH 2014
Luckily the THC found on the "generic medical marijuana" sold all over America when not heated treats seizures as well as cancerous cells and can be administered by ingesting uncooked cannabis,,,if dried grind to dist and mix with peanut butter,,if fresh leaf/buds are available add to your favorite vegs/fruits and juice it,,,sometimes laws are so wrong they must be broken until they are changed.
11:06AM MAR 6TH 2014
search "understanding cannabis part 4"

THCA not only has anti-proliferative abilities that are crucial in helping inhibit the growth of cancerous cells, but also, it has anti-spasmodic abilities that helps subdue muscle spasms and therefore has potential use among epileptic patients. Additional information is underway in regards to the biological actions of THCA, while further research is needed to identify the clinical formulation of THCA, in order to establish other aspects of THCA that can be used for clinical and medicinal purposes. The psychoactive effects of cannabis cannot be experienced unless THCA is converted to THC.
Mike Parent
8:40AM MAR 6TH 2014
There is no evidence that a CBD only strain is universally effective for all maladies. This is what happens when ignorant lawmakers start practicing medicine
Mike Parent
8:33AM MAR 6TH 2014
"Dr" Sabet is a life long Prohibitionist parasite. His field of expertise is Proaganda. He's a paid liar. This quote sums up his career; "Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy ... and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with 'scientific support' ... fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. ... The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents."
-- William F. Buckley,
7:40PM MAR 5TH 2014
The Bill, that just passed it's 1st Committee does not allow for "Legalization", but only allows for a "Medical Defense". It only allows for the strain Charlottes Web. That is the total sum of what our law makers in Tally consider Medical Marijuana. Shameful
5:23PM MAR 5TH 2014
CBD is a new strain of marijuana that works for a very rare illness found in what is claimed to be 93 children throughout the United States. See how fast Florida law makers want to pass this marijuana bill and give marijuana to children to experiment on. Yet with 20 other states having legal marijuana with a higher THC level the state of Florida is so against passing this law that it took darn near an act of God to get on the ballot for voters to get a chance to vote on. These 20 states that have legal medical marijuana claim that the medicine works and is helping patients. What makes me so darn upset is with the war on drugs Marijuana is everywhere here in Florida and unless your a menace to society everyone turns a blind eye. We hear how the pot heads will do crazy things while we read how our neighbor killed a family of 5 after a night of drinking. Were disgusted with this whole mess of Florida lawmakers that think they know whats best for the citizens of Florida. Colorado's tourist industry is booming, Hows this helping Florida? Vote these old way politicians out of office and replace with new generation of politicians with common sense and know that prohibition doesn't work & time to kick the dope dealers out of Florida once and for all.
2:32PM MAR 5TH 2014
I can't help but partially disagree with the desire to legalize cannabis. I know that marijuana can have it's positive aspects through medical uses, but what about all of the abuse that comes along with it? Marijuana has been the cause of many accidents and deaths, such as the well-known event that occurred in San Diego when a driver was high and hit 3 kids on the side of the road and then ran his car into a cafe. Wouldn't so many of these incidents be stopped if we had all marijuana be illegal?
Kevin Hunt
11:23AM MAR 6TH 2014
“At the present time, the evidence to suggest an involvement of cannabis in road crashes is scientifically unproven. REFERENCE: G. Chesher and M. Longo. 2002. “Cannabis leads to a more cautious style of driving. Cannabis alone, particularly in low doses, has little effect on the skills involved in automobile driving.” REFERENCE: Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs. 2002. Few studies report increased accident risk. REFERENCE: UK Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions (Road Safety Division). 2000. There is no evidence that consumption of cannabis alone increases the risk of culpability for traffic crash fatalities or injuries for which hospitalization occurs, and may reduce those risks. REFERENCE: M. Bates and T. Blakely. 1999. “Role of cannabis in motor vehicle crashes.” Epidemiologic Reviews 21: 222-232. The more cautious behavior of subjects who have received marijuana decreases the impact of the drug on performance, whereas the opposite holds true for alcohol.” REFERENCE: A. Smiley. 1999. Marijuana: On-Road and Driving-Simulator Studies. There was a clear relationship between alcohol and culpability. In contrast, there was no significant increase in culpability for cannabinoids alone. REFERENCE: Logan, M.C., Hunter, C.E., Lokan, R.J., White, J.M., & White, M.A. (2000). There was no indication that cannabis by itself was a cause of fatal crashes.” REFERENCE: K. Terhune. 1992. The incidence and role of drugs in fatally injured drivers. Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Report No. DOT HS 808 065.
6:07AM MAR 6TH 2014
Traffic accidents have gone down in states that have legalized. At least three government studies in america, as well as studies in the UK and Australia have concluded marijuana to have a negligible effect on driving. Marijuana can not kill you by over dose. Effects on the brain have been debunked. If we are talkinga about 'abuse' potential, lets talk about the fact that people give up serious drugs when they have marijuana available. If you stopped to listen to people you would hear countless stories about people giving up harder substances for marijuana. In addition to reductions in traffic fatalities, states that have legalized have also seen reductions in suicide rates and other problems that are related to alcohol use. Studies have shown that marijuana actually stimulates positive recollection of past experiences and improves mood. Many people cite is as a cure for their depression. Last year Bloomberg published these comments:
"Marijuana use is “extremely common” among tech workers, says Mark Johnson, 34, chief executive officer of Zite, based in San Francisco. The company, owned by Time Warner (TWX), produces an application that offers a personalized news stream on smartphones and tablets."
... "“Pot is an extremely functional drug. Coders can code on it, writers can write on it,"
6:15AM MAR 6TH 2014
1983 (NHSTA) study on Marijuana and impairment:
"A full placebo experimental design was employed which included all combinations
of 3 marihuana (0, 100, and 200 jig A9 THC/kg body weight) and 2 alcohol (0 and
0.10 percent BAC) levels. Based on a large number of driver performance and
behavior variables, alcohol was found to have a pervasive and significant impairing
effect. Simulator accidents increased reliably under alcohol, which was accounted
for by increased steering and speed control variability.Marihuana effects were
minimal, the primary one being speed reduction."

1993 STudy (NHSTA)
"This program of research has shown that marijuana, when taken alone, produces a moderate degree of driving impairment which is related to the consumed THC dose. The impairment manifests itself mainly in the ability to maintain a steady lateralposition on the road, but its magnitude is not exceptional in comparison with changes produced by many medicinal drugs and alcohol. Drivers under the influence of marijuana retain insight in their performance and will compensate where they can, for example, by slowing down or increasing effort. As a consequence, THC's adverse effects on driving performance appear relatively small.

1998 Adelaide study, Australian Highway safety :
"It was of some interest that cannabis tended to show a negative effect on relative risk when other drug groups showed an increase. This phenomenon has also been seen elsewhere [Terhune et al, 1992; Williams et al, 1985]. The most likley reason probably relates to the over compensation of marijuana-using drivers on their driving skills. Over compensation may be caused simply by slowing down and avoiding adverse driving situations. These observations do not seem to be related to whether delta-9-THC or 11-carboxy-THC are measured in blood [Terhune et al, 1992; Williams et al, 1985]. "

Yes. They found it actually made them safer drivers...
5:53PM MAR 5TH 2014
No, those kinds of things wouldn't be stopped. Unless you were successful in also illegalizing alcohol and all prescription drugs that come with a warning not to operate machinery- and then developed a breathalyzer that would prevent you from starting a car should you be under the influence of any of them.
2:59PM MAR 5TH 2014
Are you in favor of alcohol being legal?
3:12PM MAR 5TH 2014
For the most part, and with an age limit, yes. Why do you ask?
6:05PM MAR 5TH 2014
Kindly explain the difference between legal booze and pills and marijuana. How many people die every year from marijuana ODs? None. From legal pills and booze? Thousands. Seems a bit hypocritical that you think booze should be legal, with restrictions. yet want a less toxic substance kept illegal. Please do a bit of research and learn a bit about it. Thanx
1:26AM MAR 6TH 2014
Directly, no people do not die from a overdose of marijuana, but it can lead to plenty of other issues. I have done some of my own research and found that marijuana is involved in an average 250,000 hospitalizations each year--without the involvement of the drug, these numbers have the potential to decrease. Also, don't you believe that people feel "less under the influence" when smoking rather than drinking? People under the influence of marijuana are more likely to still go to work and be less productive, in comparison to people working under the influence of alcohol.
Kevin Hunt
11:21AM MAR 6TH 2014
So people that use marijuana are 'more likely to go to work", whereas people that get drunk are more likely to skip work?
6:09AM MAR 6TH 2014
do you even know how to cite sources?
Ed Vossen
2:29PM MAR 5TH 2014
My wife and I pray that the bill passes. Irene has suffered for 40 years with pain that only morphine and oxycodone can alleviate.

A drug free life without all the serious side effects is all she wants in her senior years.
6:10PM MAR 5TH 2014
Please go out and vote YES on Amendment 2 in November. The current bill that has passed committee is for only Charlottes Web, which will not help well with pain. Also, be aware that there are 2 other bills, that would address pain, neither of which has gotten a hearing. Thanks
Broward reader
2:04PM MAR 5TH 2014
The attachments are zip files, and when you download and extract them, they contain only XML files, so the attachment links in this story do not work.
12:19PM MAR 5TH 2014
It's on the ballot now. Power to the people.
11:42AM MAR 5TH 2014
prescription deaths have QUADRUPLED the last decade, marijuana deaths remain at 0

but Sabet is Big Pharma's #1 soldier, besides doctors
11:41AM MAR 5TH 2014
the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING!!!13

even that moron Sabet knows the polls are above 80%, good luck

"any doctor against marijuana is a doctor of death" - cali secret 420

from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, time to tie marijuana to the 2014, and 2016 elections, out with the old, in with the new

20 years behind us southern states, sad and scary....nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody…the top ten incarcerators on the planet are southern states...even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state, lol...Texas will be last

Average spent per inmate a year = $31,286 (profit and police over people)
Average spent per student a year = $10,605 (dumber and more in debt, each one of us is liable for around $40,000 of rising American debt)

love and freedom forever

someone whm cares
11:12AM MAR 5TH 2014
Please help the sick children
9:27AM MAR 5TH 2014
I would not take Kevin Sabet seriously he is the little kid at the party that has to pop all the balloons and nobody really believes him he is like the other drug cops thinking ignorance is a virtue and hysteria will prevail. I will give Matt Gaetz credit for at least being willing for an open and transparent approach. And he has a lot of evolving still needed to bring him up to speed on cannabis. The bill will get this much needed medicine to these kid a year or more earlier than Amendment 2 will. How ever until Floridian are allowed our natural law right to grow our own medicine and treat our self as we choose our civil right will be block because of ignorance and hysteria.
8:45AM MAR 5TH 2014
The history of the anti-medical marijuana movement has always been know nothing blivets demanding everybody follow their lead to big pharma, that any other approach will lead to the world, and every kid, gettng high. It always says marijuana is a "gateway" drug, while ignoring the fact most kids start with legal cigs, booze and pills, and that as long as marijuana is dealt on the corner, few dealers will refuse anybodies money. The shame of the current situation is that the politicians in Tally have refused to consider MM until the Amendment got public backing. They want to pass a bill, claim victory and declare they legalized the only variety with medical use. A variety they cannot legally get from CO to FL. Any bills that offer less than the Amendment are in truth, pure, pathetic political BS. Shame on them all!
8:29AM MAR 5TH 2014
Wow- thank you Ms. Smith!

As far as this: "He's like a cheerleader for Big Pharma." My thoughts exactly. Mr. Sabet needs to educate himself. Drugs that have gone through the FDA process, then legally prescribed and taken at the prescribed dose kills more people a year than all illegal drugs combined. In large part because a lot of those drugs have been approved through cronyism and cooked studies. (Speaking of which, why doesn't he speak out against that????)

On the other hand, maybe he knows all that but just thinks corporations know best what medicines are good for us. Or maybe it's just too unAmerican for him for a corporation and stockholders not to get a cut of the cost of someone's life promoting medicine.
7:56AM MAR 5TH 2014
I wonder if Sabet has any connections to any "research sites" that might gain with his layman's suggestion to have the FDA expand research sites. I am not impressed, and it seems that Gaetz and Edwards are equally unimpressed with Sabet's Credentials, which actually are nothing connected to this cause with the exception that he loves to give speeches on subjects he has no practical experience with.
I actually believe that Gaetz and Edwards may succeed in their efforts and may possibly walk away with an actual, legitimate bill for all legislators to vote FOR. I certainly hope they will!

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