Grady Judd: Medical marijuana is a sham

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

If you thought the medical marijuana initiative was intended to truly help those debilitated by serious diseases, think again.  Authors of the amendment have included a truck-sized loophole in the definition of debilitating diseases, which changes the word disease into "condition." And what constitutes a valid "condition?" Any condition where the "use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks" of someone who claimed to be sick. This means people who alleged minor ailments such as muscle spasms, neck pain, back pain and even menstrual cramps have qualified for government sanctioned pot smoking.
The "medical marijuana" initiative is a sham and straight out of the pot legalization play book from other states. Yet I believe Floridians are smarter than these pot promoting hucksters think.
Major medical organizations — including the American Medical Association, American Cancer Society and American Academy of Ophthalmology — have all agreed that marijuana has not been proven as a safe or effective form of medicine. The Drug Enforcement Agency classification lists marijuana as a highly addictive drug bearing no proven medical value — declaring marijuana is a harmful drug.
I'm sure many of you have likely heard the recent radio commercials featuring John Morgan of the law group Morgan and Morgan, attempting to gain a sympathy vote by telling you that medical marijuana can help fight diseases such as cancer, AIDS, ALS and glaucoma — a position that is rejected by medical professionals. Who are you going to believe? Knowledgeable physicians or a personal injury attorney who stands to make millions of dollars from future lawsuits surrounding marijuana?
Allowing medical marijuana will generate a cycle of problems. Teens will have marijuana readily available to them creating the potential of addiction; while industrial accidents could create an increase in workers' compensation cases. Traffic crashes from drivers high on marijuana will certainly increase. Floridians could find property values decrease in areas where pot shops and production occur.
Long term continued use is associated with respiratory illness and cognitive impairment and increased crime rates since passing the legislation in states that have passed medical marijuana laws.
Lawmakers and law enforcement have worked tirelessly to get Florida's crime rate to its current 42-year low. Let's not roll back that progress by legalizing a drug with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Join with your Florida Sheriffs and other law enforcement agencies — those who have seen first-hand the tragedies associated with marijuana abuse, as we fight this initiative.
Grady Judd is Sheriff of Polk County and the current president of the Florida Sheriffs Association.