Should Florida be the 24th state?



A small suitcase with Mason jars of medical marijuana at the Laguna Woods, Calif., retirement community's medical marijuana collective.

Grace Almanza, Staff Writer

On November 4th, Florida voters will be asked whether seriously ill residents should be allowed to use medical marijuana with a doctor’s prescription. Voters will also hold the decision on whether or not the state of Florida should be allowed to register and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries. Twenty three states in the US have already successfully legalized medical marijuana, and after November 4th, Florida may very well be the twenty fourth.

Many Florida residents are hesitant to vote yes on this matter mainly because of the addictive qualities that marijuana possesses. However, just like any other controlled medicinal drug, marijuana has proven to be very helpful for those who are ill with cancer and undergo chemo or radiation therapy, as well as other serious diseases that cause immense pain and discomfort.

The problem with marijuana is that it holds this certain societal stigma that it is inherently bad and that only rebellious teenagers use it. If it were not used primarily as a recreational drug in the beginning, then marijuana wouldn’t hold such a negative connotation. It would be like any other addictive drug on the market; such as opiates (opium), oxycodone, and percocet. All of these drugs are just as addictive as marijuana, and are frequently used not only by drugs addicts, but also by pharmacies and doctors in order to help people who are sick or in pain. However, they were introduced to the market as medicinal drugs only, so many don’t look down upon them as much as they do marijuana.

“It could be good,” said a Santaluces teacher, “It could be regulated.”

Although, no matter how you look at it, just like any other drug, marijuana may still have many negative consequences for those who choose to abuse it, and Florida residents have all the right to be wary of that.

“We’re still going to use it for recreational purposes,” said an anonymous senior, “so it doesn’t really matter.”