Florida Amendment 2 (2014), Full Text of Constitutional Changes
ARTICLE X, SECTION 29. Medical marijuana production, possession and use.
(a) PUBLIC POLICY.
(1) The medical use of marijuana by a qualifying patient or personal caregiver is not subject to criminal or civil liability or sanctions under Florida law except as provided in this section.(2) A physician licensed in Florida shall not be subject to criminal or civil liability or sanctions under Florida law for issuing a physician certification to a person diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition in a manner consistent with this section.(3) Actions and conduct by a medical marijuana treatment center registered with the Department, or its employees, as permitted by this section and in compliance with Department regulations, shall not be subject to criminal or civil liability or sanctions under Florida law except as provided in this section.
(1) “Debilitating Medical Condition” means cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis or other conditions for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.(2) “Department” means the Department of Health or its successor agency.(3) “Identification card” means a document issued by the Department that identifies a person who has a physician certification or a personal caregiver who is at least twenty-one (21) years old and has agreed to assist with a qualifying patient’s medical use of marijuana.(4) “Marijuana” has the meaning given cannabis in Section 893.02(3), Florida Statutes (2013).(5) “Medical Marijuana Treatment Center” means an entity that acquires, cultivates, possesses, processes (including development of related products such as food, tinctures, aerosols, oils, or ointments), transfers, transports, sells, distributes, dispenses, or administers marijuana, products containing marijuana, related supplies, or educational materials to qualifying patients or their personal caregivers and is registered by the Department.(6) “Medical use” means the acquisition, possession, use, delivery, transfer, or administration of marijuana or related supplies by a qualifying patient or personal caregiver for use by a qualifying patient for the treatment of a debilitating medical condition.(7) “Personal caregiver” means a person who is at least twenty-one (21) years old who has agreed to assist with a qualifying patient's medical use of marijuana and has a caregiver identification card issued by the Department. A personal caregiver may assist no more than five (5) qualifying patients at one time. An employee of a hospice provider, nursing, or medical facility may serve as a personal caregiver to more than five (5) qualifying patients as permitted by the Department. Personal caregivers are prohibited from consuming marijuana obtained for the personal, medical use by the qualifying patient.(8) “Physician” means a physician who is licensed in Florida.(9) “Physician certification” means a written document signed by a physician, stating that in the physician's professional opinion, the patient suffers from a debilitating medical condition, that the potential benefits of the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks for the patient, and for how long the physician recommends the medical use of marijuana for the patient. A physician certification may only be provided after the physician has conducted a physical examination of the patient and a full assessment of the patient’s medical history.(10) “Qualifying patient” means a person who has been diagnosed to have a debilitating medical condition, who has a physician certification and a valid qualifying patient identification card. If the Department does not begin issuing identification cards within nine (9) months after the effective date of this section, then a valid physician certification will serve as a patient identification card in order to allow a person to become a "qualifying patient" until the Department begins issuing identification cards.
(1) Nothing in this section shall affect laws relating to non-medical use, possession, production or sale of marijuana.(2) Nothing in this section authorizes the use of medical marijuana by anyone other than a qualifying patient.(3) Nothing in this section allows the operation of a motor vehicle, boat, or aircraft while under the influence of marijuana.(4) Nothing in this law section requires the violation of federal law or purports to give immunity under federal law.(5) Nothing in this section shall require any accommodation of any on-site medical use of marijuana in any place of education or employment, or of smoking medical marijuana in any public place.(6) Nothing in this section shall require any health insurance provider or any government agency or authority to reimburse any person for expenses related to the medical use of marijuana.
(d) DUTIES OF THE DEPARTMENT.
The Department shall issue reasonable regulations necessary for the implementation and enforcement of this section. The purpose of the regulations is to ensure the availability and safe use of medical marijuana by qualifying patients. It is the duty of the Department to promulgate regulations in a timely fashion.
(1) Implementing Regulations.
In order to allow the Department sufficient time after passage of this section, the following regulations shall be promulgated no later than six (6) months after the effective date of this section:a. Procedures for the issuance of qualifying patient identification cards to people with physician certifications, and standards for the renewal of such identification cards.b. Procedures for the issuance of personal caregiver identification cards to persons qualified to assist with a qualifying patient’s medical use of marijuana, and standards for the renewal of such identification cards.c. Procedures for the registration of Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers that include procedures for the issuance, renewal, suspension, and revocation of registration, and standards to ensure security, record keeping, testing, labeling, inspection, and safety.d. A regulation that defines the amount of marijuana that could reasonably be presumed to be an adequate supply for qualifying patients’ medical use, based on the best available evidence. This presumption as to quantity may be overcome with evidence of a particular qualifying patient’s appropriate medical use.
(2) Issuance of identification cards and registrations. The Department shall begin issuing qualifying patient and personal caregiver identification cards, as well as begin registering Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers no later than nine months (9) after the effective date of this section.
(3) If the Department does not issue regulations, or if the Department does not begin issuing identification cards and registering Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers within the time limits set in this section, any Florida citizen shall have standing to seek judicial relief to compel compliance with the Department’s constitutional duties.(4) The Department shall protect the confidentiality of all qualifying patients. All records containing the identity of qualifying patients shall be confidential and kept from public disclosure other than for valid medical or law enforcement purposes.
Nothing in this section shall limit the legislature from enacting laws consistent with this provision.
The provisions of this section are severable and if any clause, sentence, paragraph or section of this measure, or an application thereof, is adjudged invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction other provisions shall continue to be in effect to the fullest extent possible.
The main arguments in support of this bill, as described by People United for Marijuana, are as follows.
Facts about medical marijuana:
- 7 out of 10 voters surveyed across all parties support Medical Marijuana in Florida.
- Many patients and their doctors find marijuana a useful medicine as part of the treatment for AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, dystonia, and other ailments. Yet Florida laws treat all patients currently using medical marijuana as criminals. Doctors are presently allowed to prescribe cocaine and morphine — but not marijuana.
- Supporters of Medical Marijuana include: The American College of Physicians, Institute of Medicine, American Public Health Association, American Nurses Association, American Academy of HIV Medicine, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Lymphoma Foundation of America, American Medical Student Association, and the state medical societies of New York, Rhode Island, and California.
- A few of the many editorial boards that have endorsed medical access to marijuana include: Miami Herald, Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Orange County Register, USA Today, Baltimore’s Sun, and The Los Angeles Times.
- Since 1996, a majority of voters in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state have voted in favor of ballot initiatives to remove criminal penalties for seriously ill people who grow or possess medical marijuana.
- The American Medical Association believes that “effective patient care requires the free and unfettered exchange of information on treatment alternatives and that discussion of these alternatives between physicians and patients should not subject either party to criminal sanctions.”
- Relief from nausea and appetite loss;
- Reduction of intraocular (within the eye) pressure;
- Reduction of muscle spasms; and
- Relief from chronic pain.
AIDS. Marijuana can reduce the nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite caused by the ailment itself and by various AIDS medications. Observational research has found that by relieving these side effects, medical marijuana increases the ability of patients to stay on life-extending treatment. (See also CHRONIC PAIN below.)
HEPATITIS C. As with AIDS, marijuana can relieve the nausea and vomiting caused by treatments for hepatitis C. In a study published in the September 2006 European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, patients using marijuana were better able to complete their medication regimens, leading to a 300% improvement in treatment success.
GLAUCOMA. Marijuana can reduce intraocular pressure, alleviating the pain and slowing—and sometimes stopping — damage to the eyes. (Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. It damages vision by increasing eye pressure over time.)
CANCER. Marijuana can stimulate the appetite and alleviate nausea and vomiting, which are common side effects of chemotherapy treatment.
MULTIPLESCLEROSIS: Marijuana can limit the muscle pain and spasticity caused by the disease, as well as relieving tremor and unsteadiness of gait. (Multiple sclerosis is the leading cause of neurological disability among young and middle-aged adults in the United States.)
EPILEPSY: Marijuana can prevent epileptic seizures in some patients.
CHRONIC PAIN. Marijuana can alleviate chronic, often debilitating pain caused by myriad disorders.
INJURIES: Since 2007, three published clinical trials have found that marijuana effectively relieves neuropathic pain.
The main arguments against this bill, as described by Drug Free Florida, are as follows:
THE POT-FOR-ANYONE-WHO-WANTS-IT LOOPHOLE
Amendment 2 does not require a doctor’s prescription in order to obtain medical pot, because a prescription would violate federal law. Amendment 2 authors define “debilitating medical condition” as any condition from back pain to trouble sleeping. As a result, anyone who wants pot will get it.
DRUG DEALER LOOPHOLE
Amendment 2 allows so-called “caregivers” to dispense medical pot. Caregivers do not need medical training. They can be felons - even drug dealers. It will be easier to get a caregiver’s license than a driver’s license.
Under Amendment 2, teens and children will be able to legally purchase pot without their parents’ consent. Amendment 2 places no age restrictions on pot smoking.
PILL MILL LOOPHOLE
Amendment 2 places no restrictions on the location of seedy pot shops. Like “pill mills,” look for “pot docs” to spring up next to restaurants, schools, churches and supermarkets.
As expected, there is a great amount of debate and conflicting opinions regarding this important social issue. Marijuana has become a lighting rod and barometer for public opinion and policy. Regardless of your opinion, make sure you get your vote in!
For the full source of this information, go here:
- www.ballotpedia.org -