In 2014 I published a blog post (just republished) explaining my support of #YesOn2. Since then I’ve come to realize that I’m a distinct minority in the conservative Christian community for my medical marijuana advocacy. A voter guide has been making the rounds of our community and has been sent to me a number of times.
In this blog post, I’d like to address some of the common concerns that people have shared with me recently.
The voter guide states:
A YES VOTE legalizes the smoking of marijuana in all 67 Florida counties for “any condition”, which could include fatigue, depression, body aches, nausea, pain, and headaches. Any person at least 21 years of age could be considered a “caregiver” and sell the drug without a prescription. There are no age restrictions or parental consent requirements, so minor children would be eligible to buy and smoke marijuana without their parents’ permission.
Please take some time to read the Constitutional Amendment Petition Form for yourself. Compare the following statements from the Amendment with the allegations made in the voter’s guide. (This post has not been updated for 2016 yet)
- “Debilitating Medical Condition” means cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis or other conditions for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.
- “Qualifying patient” means a person who has been diagnosed to have a debilitating medical condition, who has a physician certification and a valid qualifying patient identification card.
- Nothing in this section shall affect laws relating to non-medical use, possession, production or sale of marijuana.
- Nothing in this section authorizes the use of medical marijuana by anyone other than a qualifying patient.
- Nothing in this section shall require any accommodation of any on-site medical use of marijuana in any place of education or employment, or of smoking medical marijuana in any public place.
It also states that regulations will be implemented including the issuance of patient identification cards to people with doctor certifications. How does this leave the possibility of minor children becoming eligible to buy and smoke marijuana without their parent’s consent or knowledge?
Charlotte’s Web has been legalized in Florida. Why does another law have to be passed to legalize medical marijuana?
There are many forms of medical marijuana. For example, Charlotte’s web is a sativa strain which has less tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and more cannabidiol (CBD) than typical varieties of marijuana. The family of Charlotte Figi states that she has experienced fewer seizures after taking her first dose of medical marijuana at age five.
In contrast, the indica strain is what other dystonia patients have told me that has helped them the most. The benefits of indica include body pain relief, muscle relaxation and reduction of spasms, headaches, anxiety and stress. These are symptoms that most dystonia patients experience on a daily basis.
This strain is not available to patients in Florida. My former physician told me that he would not prescribe cannabis at this time because he feared professional liability the way the law is currently written.
Chronic illness patients and families across the state are pleading that their loved ones needs all options for medical marijuana. Speaking as a dystonia patient, I’m fearful of the long term side effects of the meds that I try to take sparingly but must at times to relieve the horrible muscle pain and spasm that I experience.
What about children having access to medibles?
If a responsible person has prescription drugs, guns or alcohol in their house, they take utmost care to keep it out of the hands of their children. Sometimes it still happens and the law is there to cover those circumstances. Do we take those freedoms from everyone because of the abuse of some? (I’ve been hiding my chocolate from my family for years. But I digress.)
What does the Bible say?
The Bible doesn’t say anything about marijuana. It does say:
“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18) As a person in recovery and a Christian, I have no desire to present a stoner image. If I ever have the right to legally acquire medical marijuana in Florida, I would use it with utmost discretion.
“Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.” (Genesis 1:29-30)
Ultimately we each must prayerfully make our own decision about our vote. But make sure it’s a truly educated one and not from fear and propaganda.