Editorial: Yes on Amendment 2 – Medical Marijuana

While watching the Today Show this morning I saw this video against Amendment 2, the medical marijuana amendment – you may have to turn up your volume:

The video shows “Dr. Madelyn Butler, M.D.,” speaking in a strong voice to scare voters about medical marijuana. She’s lying. She says the Amendment will allow people to get marijuana without a prescription. That detail is true, sort of. But then she that’s not like “FDA-approved medication.” But plenty of medicines are available over the counter without a prescription. Thousands of drugs like Aspirin, Tylenol, Motrin, and Theraflu can be purchased by anyone without seeing a doctor or pharmacist.
In fact it will be harder to get marijuana under Amendment 2 than these over-the-counter drugs because marijuana users will have to get approval from a licensed physician before being able to buy any from licensed stores. Even those looking to grow marijuana themselves also need to have a license to do so, therefore, it would by no means be a free-for-all, unregulated market.

The reference to FDA approval is also nonsense. Marijuana is still illegal under federal law. So the FDA can’t approve it for medical use.

Let’s be clear about Dr. Madelyn Butler. She does not practice in a specialty where marijuana might be used as therapy. She’s an Obstetrician and Gynecologist.
According to Wikipedia:

Cannabis has been used to reduce nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy and people with AIDS, and to treat pain and muscle spasticity.

For more see Top 10 Medical Uses for Marijuana. These are not generally areas that are handled by Ob/Gyns.
Dr. Butler is heavily involved in the political scene and this ad is funded by Drug Free Florida, a group sponsored by the GOP establishment. It’s likely that the purpose of the ad is not about the issue itself, but rather a political trick to affect voter turnout – discouraging pro-marijuana voters from showing up at the polls and thus reducing the number of people likely to vote for Charlie Crist. Dr. Butler supported Rick Scott in 2010 as well.
Regarding our own prejudices, West Boca News opposes drug prohibition and would legalize marijuana not only for medical use but also for recreational users. We do not use marijuana and do not recommend recreational use to anyone. But plenty of people do use it, and marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. It’s not even close, according to the British medical journal Lancet:

As for my financial bias, I have made hundreds of thousands of dollars representing people accused of drug crimes. Most of these have been marijuana cases, from as little as one gram to a guy who was caught with 200 pounds of it. Drug arrests also make wonderful news stories for West Boca News. I will lose a lot of money if marijuana is made legal.
Vote “No” if you want to protect the income stream for lawyers like me and many others. Vote “Yes” if you want to end a failed prohibition that causes crime, takes billions from taxpayers and accomplishes nothing.