Amendment 2 Initiative Fails

On election day, voters decided that Amendment 2 was a no go.

On election day, voters decided that Amendment 2 was a no go.

Jake Paz, Staff Writer

Voters voiced their opinions on November 4, 2014 about Amendment 2, regarding the use of “medical” marijuana. This amendment was designed to change the Florida Constitution’s ban on medical marijuana, which was before an illegal drug. In order for this amendment to be passed, more than 60% of voters had to support it. Thankfully, when the ballots were counted, the results showed that the amendment would not be passed because it only had 57% of voters vote YES.

The amendment itself left many loop holes in the system, allowing just about anyone to receive the drug with as little as a suggestion from a doctor. Not only was a doctor’s prescription not needed in order to receive the drug, but there was no regulation regarding the levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the main mind altering ingredient found in cannabis – in the drug. With no regulation of this chemical, the drug can become very dangerous and can even make some people go insane, endangering the lives of others. For more information about the effects of marijuana, click here.

Supporters of medical marijuana claimed that it would be used to help those that are terminally sick and in severe pain. The drug would enable patients to live the rest of their lives peacefully. The amendment allowed the option of taking medical marijuana when regular prescription drugs do not suffice. To date, 23 states and the District of Columbia have voted in favor of the use of medical marijuana. When given in controlled amounts, the drug does prove effective and has become very popular with doctors.

“I believe that Amendment 2 should have been passed in order to help those who are very sick because medical marijuana could reduce their pain and make them feel better,” sophomore Rebecca Giusti said.

One possible reason that the amendment failed to pass could be Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire from Las Vegas, who almost solely funded the efforts to prevent the amendment from passing, donating about $5.5 million to fund advertisements warning of the true risks of passing the amendment. To read more about other advertisement strategies used by both sides of the marijuana debate, click here.

With Amendment 2, marijuana could have been sold in shops that are not FDA approved and run by just about anyone, which is detrimental to the ideal cause of helping the sick. Not to mention that there would have been no way to control or inspect the marijuana that those shops would have been selling. Another flaw in the amendment was that there was no age limit to those who receive a recommendation from a doctor. If a minor really wanted to, they could tell their doctor about arduous back pain and receive a recommendation without parent permission.

“If people are going to abuse the advantage of medical marijuana in the state of Florida, then it shouldn’t be legalized,” freshman Melanie Wu said.

Hopefully, the faults in Amendment 2 will be corrected when it comes time for the next election day to decide its legal use. The amendment should specify the requirements to be satisfied in order to receive a prescription and should have the drug meet specific safety requirements before it can be considered a solution for patients. Until then, those in need of the drug will have to wait in hope that the amendment gets revised.