Florida Medical Association opposes medical marijuana


Published: Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 10:44 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 10:44 a.m.

The Florida Medical Association, a statewide lobbying group for doctors, has announced that it “strongly” opposes the medical marijuana referendum going to voters in November.

In a statement released Monday, the group said it unanimously voted to oppose the measure at its annual conference in July. The resolution of opposition said marijuana should be “subject to the same standards” as other prescription drugs and be brought to market through the Food and Drug Administration’s process of testing and trials, not a political vote.

The group also rejected smoking as a way of taking a medication because it posed its own health hazards.

The FMA also said vague language in the ballot amendment “would allow healthcare providers with absolutely no training in the ordering of controlled substances, to order medical marijuana.”

The FMA statement went on to say:

“As an association that represents more than 20,000 physicians, we have come together to reject an amendment that does not have the proper regulations in place, approves an unsafe method of drug delivery and puts a substance that has drug abuse potential in the hands of Floridians, if approved in November. FMA also rejects a process whereby initiatives to approve medicines are decided by methods other than careful science-based review.”

In a response released Monday evening, United for Care, the political organization advocating for medical marijuana, said conclusions about a lack of training for health care providers were “premature” when the Florida Department of Health would be tasked with writing up regulations to address training and qualifications after the measure passed.

United for Care’s statement said: “The Association's stance apparently does not take into account the many scientific studies, as well as copious anecdotal evidence, pointing to the efficacy of medical marijuana in alleviating symptoms from a wide range of debilitating diseases and conditions.

“In our view, opposing the reasonable availability of this powerful therapeutic tool to the severely ill as outlined by Amendment 2 does not constitute the type of compassionate care that Floridians expect from their physicians.’’

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