Florida marijuana laws are being voted on this November. Mel Sembler, the founder of Drug Free America, is yet again trying to deny medication to the Florida public by initiating another nonsensical scare campaign: “No On 2”. In the state of Florida, where 70 percent of the public is in favor of legalizing medical marijuana for cancer patients and others with debilitating illnesses, Sembler has announced he is planning to raise $10 million to scare the public into voting against allowing patients to access medication. Florida marijuana laws were almost changed in 2014 until Sembler began his scare campaign. Now he plans to do it again, telling the Tampa Bay Times, “We’re trying to save lives and people’s brains. It’s not a medicine” despite the fact that many studies have scientifically proven that marijuana provides medical relief for many currently untreatable conditions.
Benefits of Marijuana as Medicine
In fact, the majority of U.S. doctors support the use of medical marijuana and 56 percent of them actually support full legalization. Millions across the country with access to medical marijuana can attest to the miraculous medical relief they have received. Children, whose intellectual functions were stagnated by constant debilitating seizures, have now been able to live normal lives. Patients with autism suffering from violent fits of rage have been cured of all outbursts. Athletes, such as football players with brain and other physical injuries who live in constant crippling pain, have been able to get off their highly dangerous prescription drugs and experience normal pain-free lives again.
Dispelling Sembler’s Propaganda
Florida is currently in the grip of a seriously critical opioid-based prescription drug epidemic with too many people dying every year of overdoses. Between 15 and 20 thousand people die every year in America from prescription drug overdoses. There has not been one person who has ever died from consuming marijuana but it has certainly saved many lives. In fact, in states that have legalized medical marijuana, there has been a 25 percent drop in opioid overdoses. Those states have less road fatalities and it has made absolutely no impact on teen marijuana use. These are all measured, proven statistics which make Sembler’s campaign all the more ridiculous as he tries to use old, misinformed prohibition propaganda to fuel his campaign.
The Unsettling Legacy of Straight, Inc.
Sembler has been part of the war on drugs for many years and from 1976 to 1993 he ran controversial drug rehab centers for teens, called Straight, Inc. The centers were shut down after many horrifying and deeply disturbing claims of abuse. The teens reported being raped, tortured, and psychologically abused at Semblers many rehab clinics. After being responsible for the rape, torture, and abuse of so many teens, Sembler is now out to stop cancer patients and others with debilitating conditions from receiving medical care.
United for Care Defends Florida Marijuana Legalization
Ben Pollara, campaign manager for United for Care, who are responsible for pushing the amendment to legalize marijuana in Florida, sent out a press release on the 22nd that stated, “Mel Sembler can spend whatever he wants to try and deny sick and suffering Floridians relief in the form of medical marijuana, but the will of the people is stronger than his money.” United for Care’s John Morgan wrote an email to supporters saying, “I’ve got a message for Mel Sembler: BRING. IT. ON. No amount of money and lies are going to stop us from winning this time. We will pass Amendment 2 in November. We will bring compassion to Florida. We will match their lies with the truth about medical marijuana.”
With neither side willing to back down, Florida are on the trajectory for a heated battle at the polls this fall. After prior failed attempts at legalization, it remains to be seen whether more information and a general openness to marijuana legalization on a national level will influence the voters. The vote on Florida marijuana laws will take place this November.