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Catholics Have Pot Concerns

September 28th, 2016 by flanews

November’s medical marijuana amendment in Florida is polling well, but as Matt Galka tells us, some religious groups aren’t on board.

In a little more than a month, Florida voters will face a burning question beyond who to elect for president – should the state legalize medical marijuana.

Amendment 2 failed by a thin margin two years ago and is polling well heading into November.

But the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops isn’t quite ready to roll with medicinal pot just yet.

“It would suggest that this would be prescribed by physicians, or this would be dispensed in pharmacies. Really that’s not the case, in fact the regulatory requirements that today pertain to drugs are expressly prohibited from being applied to these drugs that will be more available through the amendment,” said Michael Sheedy, the Conference’s Executive Director.

The group isn’t quite ready to completely oppose the measure, either.

“The bishops being informed by the experience of caring for the sick and the suffering want to make sure that people are aware of the concerns as they weight wether to support it or oppose it,” he said.

The No on 2 campaign is ready to ramp up their attacks on medical marijuana, with 1 million dollars worth of tv ads hitting airwaves at the beginning of October.

But medical marijuana supporters are optimistic.

“The legislature will be able to write statues to implement this. So we think there’s a lot of safeguards, what we call belts and suspenders here, enabling us to trust our doctors,” said Yes on 2 spokesman Reggie Garcia.

Supporters are hoping a presidential election bump gives them the required votes to push the measure over the required 60% approval mark.

Florida, Missouri, and Arkansas all have medical marijuana legalization on the ballot this November.  25 states and Washington, D.C. have already passed laws allowing medical pot.

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