Barney Bishop: Amendment 2 isn’t about medical marijuana; it’s about getting high

Proponents have argued that Amendment 2 is about providing compassionate care for people who have debilitating symptoms, pain, or are dying.

But if compassionate care were what the amendment is only about, then the authors would have specifically cited non-euphoric medical weed in the amendment’s language.

That’s why this amendment is a fraud. It’s a stalking horse, a sham.

This amendment is not really about compassionate care; it’s about getting high.

Medical marijuana is already going to be available for medically needy patients because Florida passed the “Charlotte’s Web” law.

Medically needy patients will already have access to medical weed, and the Florida Department of Health is having a second workshop this week to set rules on regulating the growth and distribution of the Charlotte’s Web strain.

Thus, if Amendment 2’s authors want to help just the medically needy, their proposed amendment is unnecessary.

Why does this amendment try to legalize pot that gets you high? Because according to them, pot will help people to live through pain, reduce or stop seizures and help people who are dying. This is exactly what the Charlotte’s Web advocates also said about their strain of pot, but their patients won’t be getting high.

Charlotte’s Web is a strain of marijuana that provides medical benefits without causing the patient to feel the euphoria that regular marijuana provides, experts say.

The real motivation of Amendment 2’s authors is to stimulate young, liberal Democratic voters to go to the polls on Nov. 4 to vote for the Democratic candidate for governor. How duplicitous.

To make matters worse, the amendment specifically says that beyond a detailed list of serious diseases, someone can get pot “for any other condition.” That’s the fraud.

In California and Colorado where medical marijuana is legal, only 6 percent of users are taking it for cancer, epileptic seizures, etc. Ninety-four percent are using pot for pain, inability to sleep, or other bogus reasons.

This is just “pill mills” redux. We just spent millions of taxpayer dollars and years of effort to rid ourselves of this scourge. Now we’ll have pot shops everywhere.

The average user of med weed in California is not a sick person. The average user is a 32-year-old white male, who contends he’s in “pain” and needs pot for relief. In fact, in California pot shops, the doctors who are recommending marijuana to patients have signs in their offices telling patients that they will recommend marijuana if someone says he’s simply in pain.

Even Jon Mills, the author of the amendment, told the Florida Supreme Court that “any other condition” could mean a sore throat or the inability to sleep. But that’s what we have over-the-counter drugs for. The vast majority of Floridians don’t need pot that gets you high to fix a sore throat or promote sleep. If anything, we’ll have more obese Floridians because pot causes some people to get very hungry.

Another example of the difference between Charlotte’s Web and Amendment 2 is that the amendment allows users to smoke the medical marijuana. Tobacco studies show that smoking itself is harmful.

People who need Charlotte’s Web are going to be able to get this non-euphoric strain soon in Florida. This amendment is a scam! It plays on the heartstrings of everyone who believes in compassion yet it makes marijuana available to thousands of users who are not medically needy or could use over-the-counter drugs for their ailments.

Amendment 2 is about getting high. It’s a precursor to the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Barney Bishop III is the President & CEO of Barney Bishop Consulting, LLC. Barney can be reached at [email protected]Column courtesy of Context Florida.

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  • Ron

    July 30, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Hey Barney, you forgot to mention that you also opposed the low THC bill in committee, but now it is a good idea! WOW Hopefully you will feel the same when Amendment 2 passes!

    • Barney Bishop III

      July 30, 2014 at 2:42 pm

      I am opposed to Charlotte’s Web…but it’ still a fact that the Chgarlotte’s Web strain is non-eurphoric and some folks claims that it helps them…you still don’t have to get high to get the medicinal value of pot, if an individual needs it for a debilitating disease, insufferable pain, or for end-of-life…

  • Ron

    July 30, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    No mention of your opposition in the main article, oversight?!?

  • Michael Swannick

    September 18, 2014 at 4:06 pm


    As a former New York State Law Enforcement Officer and sick 9/11 First Responder I’d like to tell you why we need the passage of amendment 2 come Nov. 4.

    My Medical Conditions: Renal Cell Carcinoma – Right Nephrectomy, Papillary Cancer – Thyroidectomy, COPD, Bronchiectasis / Atelectasis, Reactive Airway Disease, Growing Lung Nodules, Right Temporal Brain Lesion, GERD, Pre Barrett’s Disease – Severe Dysplasia, Degenerative Spinal Disease, Sinusitis / Rhinitis, Severe Sleep Apnea and RLS.

    It took some experimenting on my part after I got sick before I was convinced, I wasn’t always pro Amendment 2 ( Legalization of Medical Marijuana). Prior to my experiments the only experience I had with marijuana was when I was a teen, I just couldn’t see how their would be any benefit to the use of this drug for treating patients. But, I was basing my assumption on my past use when I was a kid, I wasn’t sick back then, I was a vibrant kid who felt great.

    I had no idea just how superior marijuana was/is over opiate medication. With one kidney, I need to be very careful when taking Vicodin, Oxycontin, Codeine and all the other dangerous, addictive medications that physicians are allowed to prescribe to patients. I don’t want to kill my only kidney and end up on dialysis, aside from that… My stomach is shot from all the medications, steroids and GERD. My stomach will no longer tolerate these medications, I get sick within 15 minutes and then my stomach is shot for the rest of the day.

    I’m out of options, If physicians can prescribe dangerous opiate medication, I cannot find any logical reason why they should not be permitted to prescribe a less harmful medication like marijuana. ALL medical treatment options should be between patients and their physicians, politicians should have no business interfering with “ANY” treatment options that are available.

    Guess it’s easy to turn your back on the sick Barney, guess I’ll be turning my back on you come election time!.

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