The argument for legalizing the use of marijuana has reached Florida. It has been in the state for quite some time. What is different this year is that it carries the prefix “medical”. The argument for medical marijuana is being carried forth by trial lawyer John Morgan of Morgan and Morgan fame.
Those in opposition to legalization of “Mary Jane” for medicinal purposes, are the standard group of conservative republicans, legislative opponents of anything led by anyone proposing something different, and members of the legal community, led this time by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi . The opposing group has seized on the same worn out arguments based on a 1920s mentality and illustrated by the 1937 movie “Reefer Madness.” By the way it was spelled “marihuana” back then. If you haven’t seen this movie, take a look via the link.
Considering the fact that America’s preeminent physician and brain surgeon Sanjay Gupta has changed his mind about the illegalization of the plant that gained popularity in the 1960s among the then young people who are now nearly 70 years old, it’s a wonder marijuana has not already been legalized in at least half the states .
Opposition to legalizing marijuana carries with it the hypocrisy that illegalizing casino/internet gambling currently has in Florida. Florida(and about 49 other states) have long standing rehab centers opened and operating for the sole purpose of combating the ravages of alcoholism and gambling addiction.
What has the state of Florida done to combat these addictions? It taxes liquor sales, allow the beverage, which has ruined many lives, to be sold wherever and whenever a license is issued, and now profits from a state run multi-billion dollar enterprise called the Florida Lottery.
Sure, you say the Lottery funds education. But that funding has apparently not been enough to bring Florida students any higher than 39th out of 65 countries globally in math and science.
But back to the “medical” marijuana battle; If the Florida Supreme Court upholds the wording of the petition put forth by Morgan and his crew, voters will get a chance next fall to approve the use of the green plant to ease their pain “legally” for a variety of ills.
Legalization will not legalize its use on the Federal level, but Federal Attorney General Eric Holder has expressed no desire to pursue prosecution if the states approve the measure on their own.
As to the chances of the petition getting approval if its’ allowed on the ballot next fall? Consider the fact that many of the “Flower” children from the 60s now live in Florida, are alive and kicking, and need the medicinal effects of “Mary Jane” much more than they did at age 25.