Ft. Lauderdale, FL-With just a few weeks to go before polls open for the midterm elections, both sides of Amendment 2 debate are plying airwaves in the state with TV and radio ads. Meanwhile a new study shows how effective marijuana is for the patients who need it.
According to the Sun Sentinel, opponents of medical marijuana legalization spent $1.5 million on ads that will air throughout the state. This round of ads say that under the initiative drug dealers would get legal protections and essentially become caregivers.
Drug Free America have thus far raised $3.2 million to fight Amendment 2 while United for Care, the legislation’s most vocal proponents have raised $6.15 million, the Sun Sentinel reported.
The ads began Monday, and Florida residents can expect to get a heavy dose of pro and con advertisements when they turn on the TV from now until the election.
For Amendment 2 to pass, it must get 60 percent of the votes, but that might be a tall order since recent polls have shown support might be slipping. Earlier polls showed support well-above 60 percent but a recent USA Survey poll showed that support for slipped to 53 percent.
The Amendment 2 fight continues to garner national attention because if it passes, Florida will become the first southern state to allow medical marijuana. But it is facing tough opposition in the mostly conservative state.
Many of those opposed Amendment 2 often point to California’s medical marijuana program, the first in the country, characterizing it as a sham, the sole purpose of which is to make the drug available to recreational users. They contend abuse of marijuana is pervasive in the California, but a new study shows otherwise.
Researchers Suzanne Ryan-Ibarra, Marta Induni, and Danielle Ewing all of the Survey Research Group at Public Health Institute in Sacramento, recently conducted a survey to determine how prevalent use of marijuana is in California.
The study of over 7,000 people of varying ages found that 92 percent of medical marijuana users in the state said the drug alleviated the pain they suffer due to chronic conditions such as arthritis, migraines and cancer. Researchers noted that it’s rare to see such general consensus about anything.
“Our study contradicts commonly held beliefs that medical marijuana is being overused by healthy individuals,” the authors wrote according to the Washington Post. “The most common reasons for use include medical conditions for which mainstream treatments may not exist, such as for migraines, or may not be effective, including for chronic pain and cancer.”
The ads used in by opponents are a bit misleading since medical marijuana would have to be prescribed by a doctor and purchased from a dispensary should Amendment 2 pass. This means drug dealers don’t get a license to freely sell marijuana and possessing without a prescription would be illegal. They would still face prosecution when they break the law will need to retain a Florida criminal attorney.