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Pot Candy, Big Pharma and Reefer Madness: Highlights From Florida’s Medical Marijuana Debate

John Morgan and Jessica Spencer debated Florida's medical marijuana constitutional amendment Tuesday night.

United For Care’s John Morgan and Jessica Spencer squared off Tueday night in a televised medical marijuana debate.

The debate, hosted by WESH Channel 2, lasted 30 minutes. Florida voters will decide whether to legalize full-strength medical marijuana this November.

Moderator Adrian Whitset asked Morgan about the argument that Amendment 2 would be defacto legalization of recreational marijuana. Whitset said if there’s more marijuana out there, more people will be using it.

“Listen, you look like a young guy to me,” Morgan said. “If you wanted to get marijuana, you could have it in five minutes. I’m an old guy, I’m an old fat guy. And if I want it, I can get it in five minutes. Getting marijuana is not a problem in Florida.”

The moderator asked about recent Drug Free Florida’s ads claiming pot candy will be marketed to kids. Whitset asked if it was “fear mongering.”

“I wish it was fear mongering, but unfortunately, it’s accurate,” Spencer said. “To use one of Mr. Morgan’s favorite terms, Google it. The EdiPure, it says medical on it. This is exactly what we see in other states with quote medical marijuana. And the amendment specifically says edibles.”

Check here for a primer on Florida’s medical marijuana amendment

Ads have said Florida’s medical marijuana law will not allow doctors to write prescriptions. Doctors would face losing their license for prescribing a schedule 1 narcotic, which legally has “no accepted medical use.”

“Why is it a schedule one drug?” Morgan asked. “Years ago there was a movie called Reefer Madness, which stood for the proposition that a black man and a white woman might get together. So you know what they did? They made it a schedule 1 drug so we can’t even study it.”

While it’s true that doctors would risk their license to practice medicine by prescribing a schedule one drug, marijuana is studied by researchers. But it requires significant oversight by multiple federal agencies.

See below for tweets from during the debate:

 




WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, a statewide collaborative reporting on health care.

Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by AdventHealth.

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Abe Aboraya

About Abe Aboraya

Health Reporter

Abe Aboraya started writing for newspapers in High School. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe ... Read Full Bio »

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