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Florida medical marijuana dispensary operations 'green lighted'

Medical marijuana

(NaturalNews) As Floridians prepare to vote in November on a referendum to expand medical marijuana operations in the state, some dispensaries are finally getting a "green light" to sell low-THC medical marijuana under Florida's currently strict laws governing its use and availability.

Although Florida passed a "compassionate use" bill in 2014 approving medical marijuana for a narrow range of medical conditions, it has been an uphill battle for potential sellers of the herb. Until this year, no legally-sold marijuana has been available at all, and even now, its availability is strictly limited.

Things may finally be beginning to change, however. ...

The Florida Department of Health has just granted approval for one Miami-based dispensary – Modern Health Concepts – to begin selling a low-THC cannabis oil called Haleigh's Hope.

The oil contains low levels of THC – the psychoactive component of cannabis that produces a "high" – and high levels of cannabidiol, or CBD, which is effective in treating epileptic seizures.

From the Miami New Times:

"Despite the fact that Florida passed its own 'compassionate use' bill in 2014, it took more than a year of fighting before the state let anyone legally grow marijuana and use the bill. Now, with that process finally in the past, Modern Health Concepts will begin taking appointments to deliver Haleigh's Hope oil to registered patients' homes this Monday. The company says it plans to open more dispensaries soon."

Florida taking baby steps towards making medicinal marijuana widely available

It's a small but significant step in the right direction. Currently there are only a handful of legal dispensaries in Florida, and opposition to any legalization of marijuana – medicinal or otherwise – is very strong in the state, despite polls showing 80 percent of Floridians in favor of medicinal marijuana and 56 percent in favor of recreational marijuana.

Opponents to the November referendum have spent millions of dollars to defeat it, using scare tactics designed to convince people that children will suddenly be able to easily get their hands on cannabis, and that dispensaries will become a cover for illegal marijuana sales.

Those scenarios are hard to imagine, however, considering that the referendum will only slightly expand availability – and only to those with seriously debilitating diseases who have been under a doctor's care for at least 90 days.

Currently, the only people authorized to receive medical marijuana in Florida are those with terminal illnesses and those suffering from conditions such as cancer, epilepsy and chronic muscle spasms.

The referendum, if passed, would expand availability to include those with "glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis or similar conditions," according to the Sun Sentinel.

'War on Drugs' mentality still prevails among some voters

Despite the modest aims of the referendum, the antiquated "War on Drugs" mentality is still prevalent among many sectors of Florida's population, some of whom are wealthy individuals who have poured millions into "Vote No" campaigns.

Meanwhile, thousands of Florida residents continue to suffer from illnesses that marijuana could safely and effectively treat.

Decades of brainwashing take time to reverse, it seems, but those with family members suffering from debilitating diseases are often the first to discard their outmoded attitudes towards marijuana.

For instance, despite the fact that law enforcement agencies are among the main strongholds in the opposition camp, Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre has come out in support of the amendment due to his own mother's experience with cancer and the horrific effects of chemotherapy.

Despite the opposition, there seems to be a very good chance that November's referendum will pass, and thousands of ailing Floridians may finally receive the relief they need and deserve.

Throughout the country, the old anti-marijuana mentality is slowly giving way to compassion and common sense – but the fight isn't over yet.

If you're a Florida voter, or one who lives in any of the several states with similar referendums on the ballot in November, please honor your civic and moral duty and vote "Yes" for medical marijuana.








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