Florida passed the Florida Medical Marijuana Legislation Initiative or Florida Amendment 2 on November 8, 2016, that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida. The passing of Florida Amendment 2 implies that patients suffering from AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), cancer, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and other similar conditions will now have access to medical marijuana. It will allow licensed physicians to prescribe medical marijuana to patients suffering from such devastating illnesses. However, it continues to follow the state as well federal prohibitions regarding recreational marijuana use.
Amendment 2 clarifies requirements for parental approval for medical marijuana use by minors. In addition, it also allows caregivers to administer marijuana treatments to patients. A regulatory scheme under the state Department of Health will issue ID cards to patients and caregivers seeking medical marijuana.
Significance of approval of Amendment 2
The new law will add to the existing program in Florida that allows certain physicians to prescribe low-THC cannabis to patients suffering from severe muscle spasms, seizures and even cancer. Let’s understand how it will benefit different sections of the society.
- The law grants constitutional rights to people suffering from devastating illnesses to use medical marijuana with an approval from trained physician. By authorizing licensed physicians, the initiative protects physicians from civil and criminal actions for issuing patient certifications.
- The initiative aims at protecting children from drug abuse as parental consent is needed prior to administering medical marijuana to minors. To regulate drug prescriptions, both patients and caregivers need to obtain a state-issued ID card for using medical marijuana.
- It also permits caregivers to help patients take marijuana treatments as long as the person possesses the caregiver ID card issued by the state. The initiative aims at establishing medical marijuana treatment centers to develop and distribute drugs to certified caregivers and certified patients.
- To curb unwanted public incidents, the initiative prohibits driving under the influence of marijuana.
Effects of marijuana
Cannabis contains chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for creating a feeling of euphoria by acting on different parts of the brain. The feeling of euphoria makes marijuana addictive to patients suffering from chronic pain conditions.
With the recent approval of marijuana across different states of the U.S., now 29 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana use. Medical marijuana may be smoked, vaporized, eaten, or taken as a liquid extract.
However, experts say marijuana use may entail side effects such as:
- short-term memory loss
Marijuana is known to alleviate certain medical conditions; however, its long-term use and abuse can have disastrous effects on an individual’s health. Its long-term usage can cause various physical and behavioral changes in a person:
- lack of coordination
- faster heart rate
Recovery road map
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the U.S. Though medically used for treating chronic pain, marijuana is highly addictive in nature. Legalization of marijuana (medically and recreationally) can also contribute to its abuse and addiction.
Long-term marijuana usage can lead to changes in the brain structure and can lead to psychological and physical dependence that can further develop into an addiction. It is possible to treat addiction and one should not delay it, else it can worsen the situation.
If you know someone who is addicted to marijuana or any prescription drug and is seeking treatment to get rid of the problem, it is time to seek professional support. At the Florida Prescription Addiction Helpline, we can help you find the best drug addiction rehab in Florida. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-292-3211 or chat online with our experts to find one of the best drug addiction treatment centers in Florida.