Should Medical Marijuana Be Legal in Florida?

By: Bryan Anderson Email
By: Bryan Anderson Email

Panama City resident Richard Ferrick is a stage three lung cancer survivor.

"I was diagnosed in November 2007," said Ferrick.

Now in remission, he reflected on the agonizing battle he said he went through to beat the disease.

"It was bad, I lost all my hair. I was very nauseous and the medicines I had to take I took in mass quantities in order to fall asleep so I wouldn't be heaving nonstop from the chemo," said Ferrick.

Experiencing so much pain, he said he wished there would've been other medicinal alternatives like marijuana.

"For me if I reached that bridge as a conscious decision between my family and myself, if we needed to take that route I probably would've taken it without a doubt," said Ferrick.

Panama City neurologist Hoda Elzaqwahry described the chemical effects the drug has on your brain.

"It can help elevate mood, also known as euphoria. There are also other things that are beneficial such as increasing appetite and modulating pain within the spinal cord," said Dr. Elzawahry.

But along with those health benefits, she said, come dangerous side effects.

"Illegal marijuana may be laced with other substances. It also goes without saying that inhalation of illegal marijuana is bad for the respiratory system and the lungs," said Elzawahry.

And most important, it's still illegal in Florida. Authorities call marijuana a gateway drug. They said it opens the door for abuse of other narcotics and increases crime.

But for those who've experienced actual illnesses and the pain that comes along with them, they said because pot is such a taboo topic, it's causing more suffering the longer it stays illegal.

"A lot of people are always talking about 'Is it going to be one of those nights? Are we going to be throwing up all night?' There's nothing left to throw up. They have to go to the hospital and get fluids. If marijuana can help that, let it happen," said Ferrick.

There is a pure form of THC in pill form called Marinol. Doctors can prescribe it in Florida right now. Medical experts said the only difference between it and marijuana is marinol doesn't provide the euphoric high that pot does.

More than a dozen states allow medicinal marijuana right now. For the time being, Florida still isn't one of them.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Mike Location: jax on May 27, 2012 at 09:36 AM
    My wife has MS. MM should be legal in the US, not just some states. We need to vote out the incumbents.
  • by Jasper Location: Bonifay on May 18, 2012 at 08:46 PM
    If you want legal medical marijuana--- Move to a state where you can get it. Until it's legal here in Florida you might as well shut up.As with all drugs the reaction chemically in the body varies from person to person. Thats the reason it's not legal.Some people get high and they act the fool and get hurt or hurt someone eles.If medical marijuana was legal, people would grow it and sale it to people that aren't even sick.I know of some people that smoke marijuana often and they act stupid or something wrong with them all the time.Their mind is in slow motion or something.Heres a example, The 33 year old guy came over to my house, he'd got his finger stuck in a coke bottle and couldn't get it out. He went on and on about the doctor would have to cut his finger off if he couldn't get his finger out of the bottle.Ain't this stupid of him to be worried like this ? I took a hammer, and he says , oh nooo you're not going to hit my hand with that, are you ? Well after I explained it to him, and I broke the bottle and used some grease his finger came out. He was so happy like he'd won the lotto.Marijuana makes some people just plain stupid.
  • by knowa Location: panhandel on May 17, 2012 at 08:16 AM
    I think because of the fact that Obama or Holder with in their own power alone could change in not only for a temporarily five year trial reschedule cannabis from a #1 to a #3 or #4 as Merinol the synthetic pharma pill. All so allow for the same period industrial hemp. My reasoning for this is would be from factual and scientific information.
  • by Max Location: FL on May 16, 2012 at 11:30 PM
    There is NO justifiable reason for it to be illegal without being hypocritical towards alcohol. Legalize it completely. If the drug cartels aren't making near as much money, they aren't going to be able to afford to murder tens of thousands of people every year.
  • by Denise Location: Florida on May 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM
    For one Marinol doesn't work, per Doctor. SAFE access is the key!! I have come to the conclusion that once the powers that be have repositioned themselves financially to make money from Cannabis, it will miraculously be legal here in Florida. In my opinion it is not about the compassion but the money.
  • by Bernie Location: Miami on May 14, 2012 at 11:44 AM
    Doctors can prescribe Marinol in the state of Florida, as my oncologist told me she couldn't recommend it but if I asked her, she could prescribe it. Studies show it helps fight tumor growth, stop and reverse effects of Alzheimers, relieve pain, fight appetite suppression and relieves nasuea. Truth is that if we legalize it, we would also create a huge stream of revenue from it. Police could then be used to handle more complex crimes other than smoking a joint or growing a plant...
  • by Dave Location: pcb on May 12, 2012 at 02:22 PM
    Tennesee just past a law to stop teaching gateway sex!
  • by knowa Location: panhandel on May 12, 2012 at 07:48 AM
    Florida's politicals have some Dark entities pulling their stings. Using the excuse of saving our Children, while their only interest is to milk the prohibition trough
  • by Thomas P. Location: Naples on May 11, 2012 at 05:38 PM
    Its time for the people to wake up. The illegality of this plant was based solely upon the protectionism of other industry. America needs to grow up, or fade away and allow the youth to guide the way. Freedom comes at a price !
  • by Thomas P. Location: Naples on May 11, 2012 at 05:36 PM
    Its time for the people to wake up. The illegality of this plant was based solely upon the protectionism other industry. America needs to grow up, or fade away and allow the youth to guide the way. Freedom comes at a price !
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