If there’s one thing that’s becoming clearer as time moves forward it’s that those opposing the use of marijuana for medicinal and medical research purposes basically haven’t got a clue what they’re talking about. It’s one thing to be a fat-bellied, bald-headed 70-year-old with archaic beliefs and values from a different century, but when these kinds of people are allowed to decide what is and isn’t in the best interests of the rest of us, it’s not difficult to see why so many of us take offence.
Of course that’s exactly what’s going on right now across much of the Western world, as the fight for common sense legislation of medicinal marijuana use intensifies. Most of the cries are falling on deaf ears as lawmakers would rather let the public suffer and die in agony than admit they got it wrong, but in some circles there’s genuine progress being made toward a more proactive and positive future for everyone.
So, the latest entry to the list of nations…or at least US states…that could soon be knee-deep in the benefits of marijuana is none other than Florida. What makes the idea of legalising medical marijuana use in Florida so interesting is the way in which the state has on a few occasions considered the proposal and wholly ruled it out – again, a case of sticking to the guns of yesteryear without any real regard for the future. This time though, new legislation was approved by the state’s Senate Health Policy Committee by an 8-0 vote whitewash, pretty much setting in stone how much support there was and is for medical marijuana legalisation.
The legalisation of medical marijuana use in Florida was, in fact, ushered in during the spring of 2014, though it is one of those situations where red tape and corporate BS make it impossible for any actual changes on the ground to be made for months, or even years. As such, the new bill hopes to fast-track things through to implementation level, in order to make legalise use of pot for all the well-documented health and therapeutic purposes we now know it promises.
In Florida’s instance, pot will soon legally be available to those suffering from HIV, epilepsy, ALS, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. In addition, a total of 20 licensed dispensing groups will be established across the state, representing a four-fold increase on the originally proposed number.
Not only does the move to speed up the process represent a win for common sense, but also for the patients in dire need of medical marijuana and the families thereof. Advocates have repeatedly stated that to accept the benefits of medical pot and agree to a program of legalisation in the spring of 2014, only to then allow things to drag on like this, represented little more than a slap in the faces of those in need. It was a bit like having the proverbial carrot dangled in front of them, but kept just out of reach at all times.
Of course, critics are once again sticking their noses into the matter and suggesting that not only does the move pave the way for wider pot ‘abuse’ across the state, but that it could also sway the decisions made by patients. Some fear that readily available pot will lead to certain patients ignoring many of the conventional avenues of treatment prior to using marijuana – such cynics having clearly forgotten than in 99% of instances it will be up to their respective doctors to make this decision on their behalf.
Still, another example of a step in the right direction and at least a modest victory for common sense.
Hell…better late than never, right?