JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A new public awareness campaign is underway, called "Don't let Florida go to Pot." It's an effort to squash the push to legalize medical marijuana in the state of Florida.
The Florida Sheriff's Association President, Grady Judd says it's time to set the record straight.
As volunteers for United For Care, Attorney John Morgan's group fights to get people to the poles in November. FSA is now working to spread the word about the harm they believe will come from passing Amendment 2.
Beth Leitner is one of hundreds of volunteers across the state of Florida spreading the word about the amendment, aiming to legalize medicinal marijuana in Florida. Leitner says their goal is to get people to sign up for absentee ballot request forms just in case they don't make it to the poles in November. But as United for Care Volunteers scramble to gather votes, Sheriff Judd says FSA is hustling to get their message out.
"This is not a constitutional amendment just to help the very sick," said Judd. "There's a loophole in it large enough to float a battle ship."
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The amendment states its covered diagnoses including cancer, glaucoma and AIDS. It also allows for "other conditions for which a physician believes that medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient."
"And their kids can get it, doctors can't be held liable for prescribing it and people can't be held liable for growing it," said Judd. "It's scary and it's dangerous and the people need to know that."
"I think a lot of folks just think that once it passes that marijuana is going to be available to anybody but that's not the case," said Leitner.
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Judd who also serves as the Polk County Sheriff says he's been educating people in his community about the amendment. He argues there aren't enough regulations and restrictions written in, and says its passage would likely lead to more arrests.
"Florida doesn't need to go to pot," said Judd. "We don't need to see pot stores on the corner like we saw pill mills."
Sheriff Judd also pointed out that even if medical marijuana legalized in Florida, it's still against federal law. Both United For Care and FSA are encouraging people to do their own research. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing some form marijuana.