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Governor's surgeon general opposes marijuana bill

Efforts to legalize a specific strain of marijuana to help children with intractable epilepsy faced a new hurdle Monday as the governor’s chief medical advisor said he opposed the bill because it will allow untested drugs into the market, raising the specter that the governor may veto the bill.

“We must be wary of unintended consequences and remember that first we must do no harm,” said John Armstrong, the Florida Surgeon General and head of the Florida Department of Health. He told the House Judiciary Committee that the better approach would be to allow for research and testing of the marijuana extract under the federal system.

Armstrong then abruptly left the meeting and would not say if his statement was a signal from the governor that he might veto the bill it it reaches his desk. Gov. Rick Scott has refrained from endorsing or rejecting the bill in public.

The House sponsor, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Shalimar, said he was confident that he will work with Armstrong to address his concerns about quality control and predicted the bill, which the committee substantially revised on Monday, will pass.

“We intend to send to the governor a medical cannabis bill, and I expect that he will support it,’’ Gaetz said after the meeting. Story here.



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ed jenkins

This is a natural position for someone concerned about health to take since allowing the proliferation of dangerous illegal drugs in our family friendly state would cause great harm to innocent young children and as has been pointed out by wise people recently greatly harm the development of young brains.

Tim C.

For the GOP It's just that they believe their ideology trumps science and the beliefs of others. Contrary to the Governor Scott appointed Florida surgeon general, "First do no harm" means using harmless cannabis, that actually works for people, rather than mandating expensive pharmaceutical drugs having serious side effects and that in some cases may even cause death. It's time to get real and kick out these ideological jerks, the real agenda of which is to maintain their wealth and power at the expense of working families. Harry S. Anslinger, responsible for the prohibition of cannabis, was the worst sort of racist there ever was.

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