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Medical marijuana on the ballot

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Updated: 1/24 11:49 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Medical marijuana is one of the most controversial topics in the healthcare industry today, and the debate is just heating up in Florida.

On Friday the group United for Care, which supports legalizing the drug for medicinal purposes, sent Action News a statement, claiming they hit an historic mark.

"It's official: The Supervisors of Elections have validated enough of our submitted signatures to place us on the ballot in November," wrote campaign manager Ben Pollara. "This is an amazing feat. I have to admit, less than a year ago I never thought we'd see this day - but thanks to your support and hard work, we were able to make history together."

Pollara says 710,508 signatures have been validated on a petition calling for the law to appear on November's ballot - 27,359 more than what was required by Feb. 1.

"The only thing holding up official certification and placement on the ballot is the ruling by the Florida Supreme Court, which could come anytime between now and April 1. But we can't stop for a minute - an even greater task is at hand. We must make sure that at least 60% percent of Florida voters support the amendment come Nov. 4. Together we will bring medical marijuana to the thousands and thousands of seriously ill Floridians who are desperate for relief."

Although many voters are showing their support, Action News has learned doctors may not be if the proposal is added to the November ballot.

"Most physicians are taking a wait-and-see approach," said Dr. Ruple Galani, a Jacksonville cardiologist and secretary of the Duval County Medical Society.

Galani said physicians within the DCMS and Florida Medical Association agree that there's not yet enough evidence to prove pot is good for patients.

"It's hard to do a study on a drug that is technically illegal."

Galani says most doctors treat patients based on results from clinical trials, and so far there haven't been any extensive studies yielding firm results.

"We like to give therapies and treatments to patients that we know are not going to hurt them. We need that proof that the drug is going to help first, and even then we are cautious."

Galani thinks it could take at least five years to recruit the nearly 10,000 patients needed for accurate results. Once a study has been completed and accepted by the medical community, more doctors could be convinced.

"Would you have everyone the next day writing a prescription for it? Not necessarily, but there would be more comfort for it. I think there's a lot that has to be sorted out yet before we come to some final conclusion."

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

gloriahelms222 - 1/26/2014 2:27 PM
0 Votes
my classmate's step-aunt makes $62 an hour on the internet. She has been out of a job for 5 months but last month her payment was $20720 just working on the internet for a few hours. you could look here....

nativejax - 1/26/2014 12:43 PM
0 Votes
Truthseeker, hopefully that very thing you said will be to OUR advantage. OBama had to be reincarnated, no one can get THIS no d@mn good in one lifetime.

Duncan20903 - 1/26/2014 12:28 PM
1 Vote
Anyone who is unable to differentiate between heroin/crack/meth and cannabis is in desperate need of a check up from the neck up. Anyone who chooses to attempt to employ a slippery slope fallacy should try to use items that are not higher up the slope than the thing that's supposedly going to be included in the alleged avalanche. Medicinal meth is already on pharmacy shelves and FDA approved for use by schoolchildren older than age 6: Medicinal cocaine is already on the shelves of hospital dispensaries and FDA approved for use as anesthetic in certain surgeries: Crack is a schedule II substance on the Federal naughty lists meaning that the FDA and DEA agree that it has valid medicinal utility. While the United States doesn't allow the prescription of "heroine" the FDA has approved the use of fentanyl in human medicine. Fentanyl makes heroin look like mother's milk in comparison: There's a reason why doctors and pharmacists are required to have advanced degrees and a license to practice medicine or pharmacology. Members of the Ignorati should leave the practice of medicine to people who hold those advanced degrees and license to practice their profession. The members of the Ignorati also would probably be better served by choosing to not use failed "logic" for their lame arguments which has been previously offered and rejected by people with working brains in 21 States and D.C. You're embarrassing yourself.

Truthseeker - 1/26/2014 6:37 AM
0 Votes
Hey, tinfoilhats, Barack Obama is a proponent of marijuana. How would you like to have a brain as screwed up as his?

Fred Thompson - 1/25/2014 12:12 PM
1 Vote
Just leaglize it!! A huge tax base is waiting. Fix a lot of problems (if spent right...NOT).its always up to them.

tinfoilhats - 1/25/2014 12:04 PM
1 Vote
That is the most asinine comment I've ever witnessed in my life. How about you educate yourself a little bit before you start making wise ass statements. I bet you have stock in big pharma..

Truthseeker - 1/25/2014 8:38 AM
0 Votes
So what's next, medical crack, medical meth or maybe medical heroine?
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