Vote No on 2 outlines “four enormous loopholes” in medical pot amendment

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Florida’s battle over legalizing medical marijuana heats up as a  “Vote No on 2” campaign launches a new website pointing to several “loopholes” in the wording of Amendment 2, the constitutional amendment allowing pot to be used to treat a variety of ailments.

Vote No on 2 is a coalition of law enforcement, attorneys, doctors, business leaders and other medical professionals, to help defeat the pot smoking ballot initiative.

The group explains the four “loopholes” using fact sheets and web videos — titled “The Devil is in the Details” — through www.VoteNo2.org:

Pill Mill Loophole

Amendment 2 says that there will be “Medical Marijuana Treatment Center,” meaning entities that acquire, cultivates, possesses, processes (including development of related products such as food, tinctures, aerosols, oils, or ointments) transfers, transports, sells, distributes, dispenses, or administers marijuana, products containing marijuana, related supplies, or educational materials to qualifying patients or their personal caregivers and is registered by the Department.

Vote No on 2 says this loophole places no restrictions on the location of “seedy” pot shops.  Like “pill mills,” they warn Floridians to look for “pot docs” to spring up next to restaurants, schools, churches and supermarkets.

Pot Dealer Loophole

Amendment 2 says, “personal caregiver” means an individual at least twenty-one (21) years old.

Vote No on 2 believes that this will allow a wide range of so-called “caregivers” to dispense medical pot. Caregivers are not required to have medical training, and can be felons – even drug dealers. They say getting a caregiver license will be easier than a driver’s license.

Pot-For-Anyone-Who-Wants-It Loophole

To obtain medical pot, Amendment 2 will not require a doctor’s prescription, since a prescription would violate federal law. “Physician certification” referring to a written document signed by a physician, stating that in the physician’s professional opinion, the patient suffers from a debilitating medical condition or other conditions for which the physician believes medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh any potential health risks for the patient.

Amendment 2 authors have defined “debilitating medical condition” as nearly any condition—everything from back pain to trouble sleeping. It will result in situations where anyone who wants pot will get it.

Teenager Loophole

“Qualifying patient,” according to Amendment 2, means a person diagnosed to have a debilitating medical condition, who has a physician certification and a valid qualifying patient identification card.

Vote No on 2 argues that there are no age restrictions on pot smoking; teens and children will be able to purchase pot legally without parental consent.

In the video, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd and former Florida Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Bell join experts and community activists, in detailing the “four enormous loopholes” that makes Amendment 2 essentially the full-scale legalization of marijuana.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.