One of the largest newspapers in Florida has once again come out in support of legalizing medical marijuana.
The editorial board at the Sun Sentinel, which serves Miami and its tony suburbs, emerged this week to voice its support for United for Care’s Amendment 2, urging voters to say “yes” to medicinal cannabis in the upcoming November election. The board also backed the measure in 2014.
“Smoking or digesting cannabis to alleviate pain, seizures or anxiety is hardly controversial anymore,” the Sentinel wrote, pointing out that 25 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the leaf in a manner similar to what Florida aims to do later this fall.
United for Care’s Amendment 2 would legalize a comprehensive medical marijuana program that allows patients with “debilitating” illnesses to have access to full strength cannabis products. A similar measure was put in front of the voters in 2014, missing by a narrow 2-point margin due to Florida’s 60 percent rule for ballot measures.
The Sentinel’s editorial board believes the legalization of medical marijuana, under the language provided through Amendment 2, could save the lives of many elderly patients currently being treated haphazardly with dangerous prescription painkillers.
“Florida is home to the nation’s largest percentage of elderly residents, a population at high risk for chronic painful diseases,” the board wrote. “Many are being overprescribed opioid-based pain pills, which have a high probability for abuse. Last year in Broward County, an estimated 200 people died from prescription opioid overdoses.
“In some of these cases, cannabis—which can be distributed in a smokable form, as an oil or as an edible—would provide a safer alternative. Cannabis doesn’t kill,” the board added.
Although medical marijuana’s opposing forces have come out in full force to prevent Amendment 2 from passing in 2016, the Sentinel argues that the concerns behind these multi-million dollar sabotage tactics are mostly rooted in misleading accusations.
“Opponents argue that if Amendment 2 passes, unregulated pot shops would flourish across Florida,” the Sentinel wrote. “PolitiFact found this claim ‘mostly false.’”
Some of the latest polls show the majority of Floridians plan to support Amendment 2 when they head to the polls in November. A recent survey conducted by the Florida Chamber of Commerce found 73 percent support Amendment 2, while only 22 percent opposed it.
“It’s time to put Amendment 2 over the top,” the Sentinel’s editorial board concluded.
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