Columns

Medical Marijuana or Just Marijuana?

By: Rep. Dennis Baxley | Posted: February 12, 2014 3:55 AM
Dennis Baxley

Rep. Dennis Baxley

Throughout the nation, and currently in Florida, we are confronting a nexus of issues that swirl around the public policy regarding substances that are illegal that may have medical benefit.

In that nexus is the reality of substance abuse and addiction that cascades personal destruction, family destruction, and societal destruction with increased crime, gang activity, economic damages, and overload of the criminal justice and mental healthcare/drug treatment systems. It involves alcohol, prescription drugs, illegal drugs, and new synthetic drugs.

At the same time, there is no doubt that medical benefits could be extracted from some presently illegal substances. The question is, how do we balance the public policy decisions to best protect and care for our citizens?

One initiative that may hold promise and be a template for future efforts to rebalance this equation is the work being done to try to craft a way to meet the need of seizure-prone children without destroying the safety precautions on testing, dosage, and quality control on medications. I am cautiously optimistic about this effort, but threading this needle is a delicate balance of safety and access.

The other initiative is a broad constitutional amendment on medical marijuana that is clearly the wrong approach. Putting this in the Florida Constitution, where it does not belong, severely damages and limits the ability to make statutory adjustments needed to manage this balance of benefits and abuse over time. The Constitution is to establish the relationship of a people and their government, not to manage medical/pharmaceutical governance.

In addition, the present language of the amendment now cleared to be on the ballot is flawed, giving Florida a Colorado-styled lawless, reckless approach where children could secure prescriptions without even parental controls. This will be a disaster.

Please learn all you can about this important subject and help Florida develop a cautious approach. Help others be informed and encourage them to vote "no" on this irresponsible answer to the medical marijuana question.



Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.


Comments (15)

Jay
1:03PM FEB 13TH 2014
As a parent of kids who already struggles with keeping kids out of trouble, I really do not want to have to deal with legal pot too. I really don't. Pot is relatively harmless in adults when smoked occasionally, but very damaging to kids brains. And you people are absolutely kidding yourselves if you think pot smoking by kids isn't significantly going to increase.

Also, and as a general principle, I don't get why we want a lazy workforce and a bunch of sorry folks running around. I grew up with potheads and they become generally lazy and sorry, no motivation to do much of anything. That's not all, but most.

This particular amendment is so wide open and has no parameters. It would basically legalize pot in almost all circumstances. I think once the words gets out on this, this amendment is going to fail.
Dean
9:33PM FEB 13TH 2014
Jay, you really feel that because of your concerns hundreds of your fellow Floridians should suffer without the benefits of legal Medical Marijuana? You BELIEVE use by minors will increase? What do you base this misconception on? They already go to a street dealer and buy it. While full legalization would help put a damper on it, the proposed admendment will have little effect on teen use. Lastly, you are sadly misinformed about the admendment. I have to ask, did you bother to read it, or justtook the word of a few rightzingers. The specifics of use and delivery, etc, are to be determined during the following legeslative session by the elected lawmakers in Tally. Please take the time, spend the effort to research it before you condem it. Thank you
Chris Hill
10:04PM FEB 12TH 2014
Rep. Buxley,

With all due respect, you sir are a fool and clearly have no experience with marijuana. Also, your fear-mongering is obvious and we are tirwd of seeing citizens incarcerated and enslaved for marijuana.

I, and most other Floridians agree, say if you didn't want it as a ballot initiative then you should have acted sooner in the best interests of your constituents.

Fyi, people enjoy smoking marijuana, in general. Get used to it. Put down your beer and smoke one to see.

It's time to not only legalize marijuana completely but to get the government out of the morals business.

Also, there is only one gateway drug: alcohol. Don't let ignorant police write policy.

Regards,

C. Hill

P.S. None of you can stop people from smoking
jim
1:23PM FEB 12TH 2014
I agree with Rep. Dennis Baxley. We don"t need a constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana..or a statute by the legislature to legalize medical marijuana.. and as soon as you get their
nose under the tent they will want to legalize marijuana ...As a 30 year
law enforcement officer I see how marijuana leads to addiction to other
hard drugs in far too many cases!! Destroying a person and becoming
a costly burden on tax payers..
Dean
4:19PM FEB 12TH 2014
JIM. the actual gateway drugs are legal tobacco, booze and script drugs, all of which kill people, everyday. No one dies from a marijuana OD. I would have thought a 30 year law enforcement pro would have a firm grasp of facts, not the old marijuana madness hype. Shame on you. I really expected better.
Christopher
11:33AM FEB 12TH 2014
Bottom line folks: If Baxley does it it's good...if Baxley doesn't do it it's bad. Got that? The only addiction here is Baxley holding political office. He hates government so much he can't stand to leave it. Addiction perhaps?
Rick Scott
8:55AM FEB 12TH 2014
I'm not in support of a Constitutional Amendment to capture the legalizing of this, no more than alcohol or cigarettes are referenced in the constitution.

But this product needs a fair look and brought before the people for a vote. Rick Scott
Dean
9:32AM FEB 12TH 2014
Cigarettes are not illegal. Booze went through a constitutional crisis, and was relegalized. If our elected politicians in Tally had acted in a responsible way, Medical Marijuana would already be legal. The Cathy Jordan Act did not get a hearing last term. While people continued to die from legal opiates. The current bills do not include use for pain. Thus, a constitutional admendment is required. Toprotect the rights of Floridians. Too bad that those elected serve only themselves, their partyline and a small, but vocal group. Well, those who support MM will be vocal, will vote and will remember those who lied and failed in their duty.
Dean
9:31AM FEB 12TH 2014
Cigarettes are not illegal. Booze went through a constitutional crisis, and was relegalized. If our elected politicians in Tally had acted in a responsible way, Medical Marijuana would already be legal. The Cathy Jordan Act did not get a hearing last term. While people continued to die from legal opiates. The current bills do not include use for pain. Thus, a constitutional admendment is required. Toprotect the rights of Floridians. Too bad that those elected serve only themselves, their partyline and a small, but vocal group. Well, those who support MM will be vocal, will vote and will remember those who lied and failed in their duty.
Fran k
8:44AM FEB 12TH 2014
I am a hard right wing GOP conservative and I fully support the legalization of all Marijuana, not just medical marijuana. Honestly! How is this stuff any more dangerous than alcohol or cigarettes? Answer is IT'S NOT!!!

I don't smoke or drink but I can see hypocracy when it faces me. Either ban cigarettes and booze or legalize it all. Too much or our taxpayer dollars are wasted on trying to control the public regarding marijuana.

Like alcohol during the prohibition years, marijuana's time has come. It's already everywhere so legalize it, tax and regulate it.
Dean
8:38AM FEB 12TH 2014
To all of you who choose to come out against this. Try educating yourself before opening your mouth and sticking in your foot. MM will have no negative effect on tourism, or gambling, or streetsales of marijuana. Kids buy it from drug dealers everyday. Those kids stared with cigs and booze. Still, legalization and regulation helps to limit kids getting it. Then, by what right do people like the author determine what other people do? Another self important, blivet who wants to force his opinion on others because he knows best, while demanding his own rights. Hope the folks who elected him now realize how arrogant and selfish he is and replace him. Disturbing that those who demand rights, GOP, are quick to deny others. HYPOCRITS!
Jan
8:17AM FEB 12TH 2014
I am NOT in favor of making this legal. I really think it will hurt our good tourist from wanting to come to Florida. It will be really hard to control the reasons for legalizing. I have always felt it will lead to addiction and the need for stronger substances.
Dean
8:45AM FEB 12TH 2014
Jan, really? Did all of the pill mills affect tourism? You know, the 1s the state has been fighting, that killed people. How many people die from on OD of M? None. Yet you would blindly refuse a person the benefits of that plant. Please take the time to educate yourself so you use facts instead of unlearned "thoughts". Thanks
Fran k
8:39AM FEB 12TH 2014
Oh really! And alcohol doesn't lead to addiction? How about cigarettes?

Don't be a pathetic hypocrite!!!
Steve
6:03AM FEB 12TH 2014
To think, someone voted for this insulting old man.

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