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Overall, it's been a pretty exceptional two decades for the marijuana industry. Sure, there have been a few bumps in the road, like the failure of a medical marijuana amendment in Florida in 2014. But as a whole, the increasing acceptance of cannabis has been almost constant since 1996.
Since California first legalized medical marijuana for compassionate use in 1996, two dozen states have legalized its medical use -- that's half the country! This year alone, both Ohio and Pennsylvania have legalized the use of medical marijuana for certain ailments, and they both did so through the legislative process (i.e., without putting the issue on the ballot for voters to decide).
FDA Approves Liquid Marijuana For Aids and Cancer Patients
While the United States government refuses to admit the cannabis plant has any real medicinal benefit, its position has not prevented federal health agencies, over the years, from approving synthetic versions of the herb’s psychoactive component to be used by Big Pharma in the treatment of serious conditions.
In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), one of the primary barriers in the grand scheme of nationwide legalization, recently approved a liquid variety of synthetic tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC) that will be sold to people suffering from AIDS and cancer.
Publix Heiress Donates $800K to Fight Medical Marijuana in Florida
In an effort to defeat Florida’s medical marijuana ballot initiative, the Drug Free Florida Committee has ramped up its fundraising, reportedly raising $805,000 between July 9 and July 15. The bulk of this money came from one contributor—the family that founded beloved supermarket chain Publix.
According to a recently filed financial disclosure, the Carol Jenkins Barnett Family Trust donated $800,000 to Drug Free Florida, a group opposed to Amendment 2, which would allow doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis for certain debilitating illnesses.
Florida: No Doctors to Prescribe Medical Marijuana
After spending two long years trying to figure out how to operate a restrictive medical marijuana program, one that allows only a handful of patients to gain access to low-THC strains of the herb, Florida officials announced last week that they were finally in the businesses of selling weed. However, while the news of this development may sound encouraging, some of the latest reports indicate that seriously ill patients are still struggling to get their hands of the state’s version of cannabis medicine because many doctors have simply refused to write recommendations.
In accordance with the Compassionate Cannabis Medical Act of 2014, patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy and a few other severe conditions can get a doctor to certify them to purchase a non-intoxicating brand of cannabis from any of the state’s licensed dispensaries. But, so far, the trick has been in locating a physician willing to sign off on this new therapy. A report from the Tallahassee Democrat indicates that there are currently only 25 doctors in the entire state of Florida that are authorized to make these recommendations. That is a substantial shortage of doctors, considering the state estimates 125,000 people will qualify for the program.
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