Floridians are prohibited from smoking in most public places. Go to any restaurant, school, hospital or government building and you will see “No Smoking” or “Smoke Free Campus” signs prominently posted. Since 1984 there has been a national campaign against smoking. It does not matter what you smoke, it is prohibited, in many cases by city and county ordinances.
That may all change if the Florida marijuana Amendment 2 passes in November.
Citizens of the Sunshine state may be subjected to secondary smoke from “medical” pot users. How is this possible? I spoke with Dr. Robert McCann about this issue. He is concerned if Amendment 2 passes that smoking pot in public places will occur. Dr. McCann asks, “Who is going to deny any person from taking their medicine?” If pot is dispensed for “medical purposes” what prevents a person from lighting up in a hospital, on a bus or airplane, in a restaurant or at an elementary school?
The only thing that would stop that person from lighting up in a public place is their respect for their fellow citizens. Would someone high on pot even worry about their fellow citizens? Many think not. Should a business deny a person their right, under Amendment 2, to “take their medicine” then the specter of a lawsuit looms large.
There are three things Floridians need to understand about Amendment 2:
- The language of Amendment 2 is so vague that it will lead to the recreational use of pot.
- Anyone, regardless of age, may obtain a doctor’s recommendation for using pot. There is no “prescription.”
- Pot can be dispensed statewide by pot shops, not just pharmacies. The devil is in the details.
- Doctors may recommend the use of pot for a broad range of physical conditions including back pain and depression.
Dara Kam from The News Service of Florida reports, “The [Florida] Department of Health held a workshop Friday as it races to meet a Jan. 1 deadline to implement a new law that legalized strains of marijuana that purportedly do not get users high but can dramatically reduce or eliminate life-threatening seizures for children with a rare form of epilepsy. Patients who suffer from severe muscle spasms or cancer would also be eligible to get cannabis that is low in euphoria-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and high in cannabadiol, or CBD, if their doctors order it.”
Kan notes, “Friday’s workshop — which started with a standing-room only crowd of lobbyists, lawyers and others — offered more evidence about how quickly a medical-marijuana industry has grown in the state. The department plans to hold another workshop after it publishes a proposed rule, though it is not clear when that meeting will occur.”