PENSACOLA, FL – On November 4th of this year millions of Floridians showed up to vote at the polls on a wide variety of issues, one of which being medical marijuana. This year’s electionhad supporters of the amendment in tears of frustration as the vote was rejected with only 2.38% more votes needed to turn the vote to their favor.
A local artist at Quayside Gallery and mother of three, Julie Morrison expressed her disappointment after the amendment’s rejection. She said, “Not only is medical marijuana safer than most over the counter drugs, it also would’ve reduced the debt of the nation and individual states. The extra tax dollars that would have been provided for the community is a great loss.” According to research done by NerdWallet, the state of Florida stands to make an estimated $183,408,640 from the revenue gained from the sales and excise tax on marijuana.
While most people have their own opinions on the use of marijuana for medical purposes, there are a few facts that must be acknowledged by everyone. First, no one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana. Second, marijuana has been proven to reduce eye pressure and muscle spasms, as well as offer some relief from nausea and chronic pain. Lastly, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, states with medical marijuana laws in place had less overdose deaths from commonly described pain medications between 1999 and 2010.
Another Florida voter, Brooke Neal, an 18-year-old freshmen at Pensacola State College, said, “I personally know a number of sick people that would have benefited from the legalization of medical marijuana. Other drugs don’t work for them, and medical marijuana might. That’s why I voted for Amendment Two.” Ms. Neal goes on to say that the choice of marijuana as a treatment option should be between a doctor and his or her patient. Some Americans believe that decisions regarding medical treatments should be left to the doctors who are experienced in treating patients with the types of medical issues that medical marijuana could help.
Florida may have not passed the amendment for medical marijuana this year, but its supporters are hopeful for the future. “We were so close this year to passing [Amendment Two],” says Neal, “so I think it won’t be long until it actually becomes a law.”