Why you should support Amendment 2

This Election Day, November 8, you have a chance to make a positive change in both health care and criminal justice with a single vote.

I urge you to vote Yes on Amendment 2. It’s time to legalize medical marijuana in Florida.

To be clear, marijuana is used for medical purposes in Florida every day. Cancer patients use it to combat nausea and restore appetite during chemotherapy. Multiple sclerosis patients use it to reduce spasticity. And those with glaucoma find it decreases eye pressure.

But today, Floridians with these debilitating illnesses must decide whether to risk arrest and incarceration in order to ingest a plant that brings relief to millions of others. In 25 states and the District of Columbia, medical marijuana is legal in some form. Two years ago, more than 57 percent of Floridians voted to legalize medical marijuana. (Florida requires a high bar – 60 percent – to pass these amendments.)

Even if you doubt marijuana’s medicinal value, there are more reasons to vote Yes on Amendment 2. As a criminal defense attorney, I believe our justice system is made less effective by our nation’s war on drugs. Our jails are crowded. Our courts are clogged. Our police are stretched thin. To think that our limited resources should be spent prosecuting people who honestly believe they are treating an illness makes no sense.

Let’s join the solid majority of Americans who allow their fellow citizens to use marijuana for certain illnesses when they so choose. Let’s take a principled stand against one outdated and detrimental drug law. Please join me in voting Yes on Amendment 2.


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