The FMA position, however, is silent to the fact that if the amendment passes, the Legislature and state regulators will have the power to regulate the use of cannabis. The Florida Department of Health is designated as the regulating body under the amendment. It is currently undergoing a rigorous rule-making process to regulate low_THC cannabis which the Legislature legalized last spring.
Here's the FMA press release:
Tallahassee, Fla. – Following the unanimous adoption of Resolution 14-301 by the Florida Medical Association House of Delegates at the July conference, the FMA today announced its opposition to Amendment 2 – the so-called “medical marijuana” constitutional amendment, which will be on the ballot this November.
“Providing compassionate care to our patients is something we do every day. We believe the unintended consequences of Amendment 2 are serious and numerous enough for us to believe they constitute a public health risk for Floridians,” stated Alan B. Pillersdorf, M.D., president of the FMA. “The lack of clear definitions in the amendment would allow healthcare providers with absolutely no training in the ordering of controlled substances, to order medical marijuana.”
“As an association that represents more than 20,000 physicians, we have come together to reject an Amendment that does not have the proper regulations in place, approves an unsafe method of drug delivery and puts a substance that has drug abuse potential in the hands of Floridians, if approved in November. FMA also rejects a process whereby initiatives to approve medicines are decided by methods other than careful science-based review.”
“We recommend that other physician organizations and their members responsibly reject this Amendment, which would provide improper access to cannabis and cannabis-based products,” concluded Dr. Pillersdorf.
The Doctor’s of the FMA take their oath and their obligation to patients serious. When voters need advice on issues of medicine and health care, their own doctors can and should be a trusted resource. It is with this obligation in mind that the FMA took the action it did in voting unanimously to oppose Amendment 2.
Founded in 1874, the FMA is a professional association dedicated to the service and assistance of Doctors of Medicine and Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine in Florida. The FMA represents more than 20,000 physicians on issues of legislation and regulatory affairs, medical economics and education, public health, and ethical and legal issues. The association advocates for physicians and their patients to promote the public health, ensure the highest standards of medical practice, and to enhance the quality and availability of health care in the Sunshine State.
Attached is a copy of the resolution.
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Oppose Constitutional Amendment to Legalize Marijuana for Medical Conditions
Brevard County Medical Society
Whereas, The Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, Amendment 2 is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in the state of Florida as an initiated constitutional amendment; and the measure, upon voter approval, would legalize the cultivation, purchase, possession and use of marijuana to treat medical conditions when recommended by a licensed physician; and
Whereas, the FMA policy on medical marijuana is stated in P 307.001 Medical Marijuana Use Not Supported or Substantiated which states: The FMA opposes consideration of any initiative or policy supporting the use of medical marijuana in Florida; and further the FMA supports and adopts the following policy statements from the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM): 1. That cannabis, cannabis-based products, and cannabis delivery devices should be subject to the same standards that are applicable to other prescription medications and medical devices and that these products should not be distributed or otherwise provided to patients unless and until such products or devices have received marketing approval from the Food and Drug Administration; 2. Reject smoking as a means of drug delivery since it is not safe; 3. Rejects a process whereby State and local ballot initiatives approve medicines because these initiatives are being decided by individuals not qualified to make such decisions (based upon a careful science-based review of safety and efficacy, standardization and formulation for dosing, or provide a means for a regulated, closed system of distribution for marijuana which is a CNS drug with abuse potential); and 4. Recommends its members and other physician organizations and their members reject responsibility for providing access to cannabis and cannabis-based products until such time that these materials receive marketing approval from the Food and Drug Administration; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the Florida Medical Association (FMA) oppose Amendment 2, the constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana for medical conditions.
Reference Committee: III - Legislation