The Florida Medical Association, which represents about 20,000 physicians in the state of Florida, has come out strongly against a proposed amendment that would legalize medical marijuana in the state. Among the group's concerns are that medical professionals without proper training could end up handling medical marijuana.
We hate to break it to the group, but there are literally tens of thousands of people without any medical training whatsoever handling and distributing marijuana throughout Florida right now.
"Providing compassionate care to our patients is something we do every day," said FMA President Alan B. Pillersdorf in a statement. "We believe the unintended consequences of Amendment 2 are serious and numerous enough for us to believe they constitute a public health risk for Floridians."
Dr. Pillersdorf, by the way, is a practicing Palm Beach plastic surgeon who specializes in non-medically necessary cosmetic procedures. His practice will inject Botox and Juvederm into your face, and stuff silicone into your breasts, but apparently ingesting a plant is just a step too far for Pillersdorf.
"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," Pillersdorf continued. "FMA also rejects a process whereby initiatives to approve medicines are decided by methods other than careful science-based review."
The resolution to oppose medical marijuana was passed unanimously by the FMA House of Delegates during its recent annual conference in Orlando.
At issue is the possible health risks of smoking any substance. The group is also concerned that a medicine is being approved not by experts but rather by public vote, and that proper training is not required under the amendment.
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United for Care, the group championing Amendment 2, has shot back.
"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," United For Care's Ben Pollara told SaintPetersBlog.
Pollara also added that the Florida Department of Health and the legislature will not decide on proper regulations and training for the dispersion of medical marijuana unless the amendment passes, and he expects it to be a tightly regulated industry.