Medical marijuana debate gets heated

Seminole, Florida -- "If you cant control your passion, you need to leave," said the moderator.

Another day, another drama filled debate.

"This term medical is a smoke screen," yelled one man.

Called a Village Square Forum at St. Pete College in Seminole Thursday night, the event intended to explore medical marijuana and gauge where people stood on the issue through a text voting system.

Pot advocates squared off against Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, and at times, it got intense. The sheriff and the anti-pot crowd argued the amendment on the November ballot is merely a vehicle to recreational use and will open the door to new horrors.

"It's a gateway drug that will lead to other things like opiates, like oxys, and all the others like cocaine, you name it. My greatest concern is for the kids," said Sheriff Gualtieri.

But others countered, saying that is a scare tactic.

"I hate to break this to you, but those same kids you're referring to can get it right now," yelled one man from the crowd.

Even Alex Sink showed up with an open mind.

"I'm here to learn. I haven't made my mind up yet and maybe I'll come away with my mind made up after tonight," said Sink.

One of the most emotional moments came when a debilitated Cathy Jordan spoke about how marijuana has helped her. She's the ALS patient the Florida Amendment is named after.

The other came from a man currently battling incurable cancer who bravely voiced his choice.

"I use marijuana. I get it off the street," he said.

One of the speakers was former President Reagan's drug czar Dr. Carlton E. Turner. Hear his comments in the video link below:


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