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Medical marijuana sparks local debate over legal consequences

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Updated: 1/27 11:42 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Smoking marijuana had never crossed Yasiniah Muhammad's mind -- until now. She is 73 years old and has been living with Lou Gherig's disease for 13 of those years.

"She's being well taken care of but overall we just worry about the pain," said Muhammad's daughter, Bertha Jennings.

Jennings said doctors gave her mother 18 months to live, but she's not going out without a fight. Jennings said the idea that medical marijuana could pass in the State of Florida has given them both new hope.

"It would relax her a little better and help with the pain better, too," said Jennings.

But concerns are already being raised about possible abuse of a medical marijuana system.

Action News' sister station went to California, where there are more marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks. One man said he had a shoulder injury and got a prescription.

"It was really easy, it didn't take long," he said.

That's exactly what Jacksonville leaders like City Council Member Bill Bishop are worried about.

"This is a classic grenade in the room. Let's see what happens," said Bishop.

Bishop said legalizing marijuana leaves too many questions for law enforcement and for local employers who are unsure how the law will affect drug testing policies for employees.

"You open up a whole legal can of worms with this thing that I don't think anybody really thought out," he said.

Jennings said she doesn't want to see an increase in abuse because of it, but wants her mother to feel better.

"It's a good thing and I will vote for it," she said.

Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland says 50 percent of voters usually turn out for a gubernatorial race. Holland believes we could see even more turnout with this highly debated topic on the ballot.

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Nookies - 1/28/2014 6:35 PM
1 Vote
Meh, too many old conservative idiots like "grammy" here. If you're high and driving, it will be treated as DUI. If they smell weed, see glossy eyes,etc they are busted. " high gets behind the wheel of a car and kills people ????" As opposed to the 30 THOUSAND deaths a year as a result of drunk driving? There has literally only been a handful of cases where people died or killed someone while under the influence of cannabis. The same CANNOT be said for alcohol. You can't be in favor of alcohol but not in favor of cannabis. That makes you a pretty big moron. It's irrefutable. As far as the business owners go, being a legal medical marijuana patient protects you from employers holding testing positive for cannabis against you. THAT IS IT. If you show up to work stoned, and can't perform your job you will be fired, and that person won't be able to cry "wrongful termination" and sue. There's 20 states that have medical cannabis legalized. Those states are better than FL when it comes to everything. No one is getting high and killing people in cars, burning down houses,etc. It's no uncommon for ignorant people to spew crap out on subjects they know little to nothing about.

jimmyray1112 - 1/28/2014 6:11 PM
1 Vote
I'm proud to be a Floridian so many advantages than not for marijuana, health-eye problems, sleep disorders, cancer patients w/eating an depression problems, seizure patients, anorexia, alleviates pain an nausea an so much more. Ok I to am in my mid 50's getting in a car an killing ppl really- as an occasional pot smoker I have never been so high I couldn't remember the night before, but give me a pint of liquor an its possible I won't remember the night before. what it would bring in taxes might get this country out of debt! Marijuana is nothing compared to Cigarettes or Alcohol I lost my mother an both grandparents to CIGS an I begged them to stop an they couldn't wake up lets pass this! grown right from the ground just add water! GOD BLESS

rhodacostintya - 1/28/2014 3:38 PM
0 Votes
$9­­­­­­­­­7­­­­­­­­­/­­­­­­­­­h­­­­­­­­­r­­­­­­­­­ ­­­­­­­­­p­­­­­­­­­av­­­­­­­­­iv­­­­­­­­­d­­­­­­­­­v­­­­­­­­­ b­­­­­­­­­y G­­­­­­­­­oog­­­­­­­­­le­­­­­­­­­, I­­­­­­­­­ am ­­­­­­­­­making ­­­­­­­­­a ­­­­­­­­­good salary ­­­­­­­­­from ­­­­­­­­­home ­­­­­­­­­$5500­­­­­­­­­-­­­­­­­­­$7000/week , ­­­­­­­­­which ­­­­­­­­­is amazing, ­­­­­­­­­under ­­­­­­­­­a ­­­­­­­­­year ­­­­­­­­­ago ­­­­­­­­­I ­­­­­­­­­was ­­­­­­­­­jobless ­­­­­­­­­in ­­­­­­­­­a ­­­­­­­­­horrible ­­­­­­­­­economy. ­­­­­­­­­I ­­­­­­­­­thank ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­God ­­­­­­­­­every ­­­­­­­­­day ­­­­­­­­­I ­­­­­­­­­was ­­­­­­­­­blessed ­­­­­­­­­with ­­­­­­­­­these ­­­­­­­­­instructions ­­­­­­­­­and ­­­­­­­­­now it's ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­my ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­duty ­­­­­­­­­to ­­­­­­­­­pay ­­­­­­­­­it ­­­­­­­­­forward ­­­­­­­­­and ­­­­­­­­­share ­­­­­­­­­it ­­­­­­­­­with ­­­­­­­­­Everyone, ­­­­­­­­­Here ­­­­­­­­­is ­­­­­­­­­I ­­­­­­­­­started,,,­­­­­­­­­ w­w­w.J­o­b­s­7­4.C­o­m

BossIlluminati - 1/28/2014 1:21 PM
1 Vote
the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING!!!13 from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, tying marijuana to the 2014, 2016 elections, this backwards country can't get it done in 20 years, ill get it done this year... 20 years behind us southern states, sad and scary...nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody...even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS that run the south would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already.... love and freedom forever, youth changing the world MARIJUANA SUPER BOWL 2014, free state vs. free state, destiny AMERICA'S WAR ON DRUGS IS A WAR ON AMERICANS!!!33

Brion Eduardo - 1/28/2014 10:24 AM
0 Votes
The cliche "more marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks" is as stale as year-old bong water. An original standard of comparison would be refreshing.

Truthseeker - 1/28/2014 10:07 AM
1 Vote
So now we have the same government that said that marijuana use leads to "hard core" drug useage, pushing to legalize it. What is wrong with this state's and this country's leadership? I forgot, most of them are Liberals. Liberal = no common sense.

GrammyBoomFire - 1/27/2014 10:20 PM
0 Votes
We can't even control the abuse of class one and two drugs .... and we are supposed to believe that the abuse of marijuana will not follow suite .... If this proposal does pass, will marijuana users be treated just like smokers in regard to insurance rates ??? What about being under the influence behind the wheel ??? What about when someone high gets behind the wheel of a car and kills people ???? I grew up during the "hippie" era, and have seen first hand what marijuana does .... We used to call them "burnouts" ..... This has got to be the most STUPID move yet by the double digit intelligentsia .... I am embarrassed to call my self a Floridian .....
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