South Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schutlz may be chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, but when it comes to medical marijuana she sure sounds like a Republican.
Wasserman Schultz aired her "concerns" today about the ballot initiative that would legalize medical marijuana in Florida by claiming that it may be "written too broadly." Instead she favors the use of low-dose, non-smokeable THC medications to treat a more limited range of conditions.
"I am supportive of evidence-based medical marijuana treatment, such as in the case of controlling epileptic seizures in children and easing cancer pain with a low-THC, tablet form of the drug," told the Tampa Bay Times in a statement. "I therefore look forward to Governor Scott signing the so-called 'Charlotte's Web' bill that he was presented with today. I am supportive of the expansion of its use as a medical treatment if evidence proves its effectiveness."
Incidentally, many Republicans in the Florida legislature championed a bill that would legalize a low-dose strain of marijuana that would only be administered through a tincture called "Charlotte's Web." Many Republicans claim that once Gov. Rick Scott signs the bill, then the medical marijuana debate in Florida would be over. Specifically Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam claims that the Charlotte's Web bill should take the issue of further expansion of medical marijuana "off the table."
"Pertaining to the ballot initiative in Florida, I have concerns that it is written too broadly and stops short of ensuring strong regulatory oversight from state officials," continues Wasserman Schultz's statement. "Other states have shown that lax oversight and ease of access to prescriptions can lead to abuse, fraud, and accidents. Also, given Florida's recent history in combating the epidemic of 'pill mills' and dubious distinction as having among the highest incidents of fraud, I do not believe we should make it easier for those seeking to abuse the drug to have easy access to it."
Scott and Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi have used similar language to state their opposition to the amendment. In fact, Bondi unsuccessfully tried to have the amendment taken off the ballot by claiming that it was worded too broadly.
The Florida Supreme Court ruled that in fact the amendment was not worded too broadly.
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Mega Democratic donor John Morgan, a trial lawyer who currently employs Charlie Crist and is a major backer of the medical marijuana amendment, wasted no time blasting the DNC chair.
"I know personally the most-powerful players in Washington DC. And I can tell you that Debbie Wasserman Schultz isn't just disliked. She's despised. She's an irritant," Morgan told the Miami Herald. "Why she's trying to undermine this amendment I don't know, but I'll tell you I will never give a penny or raise a penny for the national party while she's in leadership. And I have given and helped raise millions."
Morgan, who has poured more than $4 million of his own money into the effort to legalize medical marijuana in Florida, said when he read Wasserman Schultz's statement he immediately erased her contact information from his phone and vowed to oppose her if she ever sought a run for the Senate.