The Florida Medical Association has announced its opposition to Amendment 2, the proposed constitutional amendment that would authorize doctors to use marijuana to treat patients.
The medical association representing 20,000 physicians had opposed the amendment’s language when it was challenged in the Florida Supreme Court, took a neutral position after the Court approved the language and then during a July conference the FMA House of Delegates unanimously adopted a resolution to oppose the ballot initiative.
“We believe the unintended consequences of Amendment 2 are serious and numerous enough for us to believe they constitute a public health risk for Floridians,” stated Alan B. Pillersdorf, president of the FMA.
Pillersdorf stated in a news release that the FMA rejects an initiative process for the approval medicine in favor of a science-based method.
United for Care, the group working to pass the initiative said it was disappointed by the decision and believed that it does not reflect the opinion of a “growing number of doctors and nurses” who have expressed support for a medicinal marijuana option to treat patients.
“The Association’s stance apparently does not take into account the many scientific studies, as well as copious anecdotal evidence, pointing to the efficacy of medical marijuana in alleviating symptoms from a wide range of debilitating diseases and conditions,” said United For Care’s Ben Pollara.
Pillersdorf said a lack of regulations, training in the handling of medical marijuana and a safe delivery method also played a role in the FMA’s decision to reject the proposal.
Amendment 2 supporters say those concerns are premature since the Department of Health and the legislature will not issue rules and regulations unless the proposal is approved by voters.
“And we would hope and expect the Florida Medical Association to participate in the elaboration of training materials to that effect, just as they contributed to the creation of the 8-hour course that will be required of physicians hoping to enroll their patients in the state’s newly-created Compassionate Use Registry,” said Pollara.