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FMA says no to pot for debilitating ailments, opposes Amendment 2

Marijuana samplesThe Florida Medical Association has come out against Amendment 2, taking the position that the amendment will open the door to untrained doctors prescribing the marijuana for medical uses.

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.

For more information on the FMA, please visit www.flmedical.org, follow @FloridaMedical and like FB.com/FloridaMedical.

# # #

Resolution 14-301

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


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ed jenkins

The citizens are thankful to the their doctors who they consider the most important people and most highly respected in this business and family friendly state. There should be no doubt in the mind of the uninformed citizens now that charlatans trying to pass off these dangerous illegal drugs as cures for ailments should be ignored and prosecuted for violations of our drug laws now that the doctors have confirmed what the citizens already believed - that these dangerous illegal drugs are harmful to our youth and lead to worthless lives for adults.

Bill Thompson

The FMA should work with the Florida dept of health to develop the guidelines and training required for doctors to be allowed to prescribe the medical marijuana. This is not the first state to be faced with this issue. Doctors are prescribing much stronger and more dangerous narcotic medications than marijuana right now and surely they have the experience with these medications that can be applied to medical marijuana.

Frank Mirabella

It tells me that the Trial Bar is right about the FMA.
These guys want people to think that they are expert in administering Morphine, OxyContin and Vicodin. What is so difficult recommending a marijuana based pill to a debilitated person to assist with excruciating pain or create an appetite for a patient that can't eat? It just sounds like these guys want to preserve the option to tick up the morphine pump as soon as possible. They are right about one thing, and is that you can't trust the FMA. I can't help but wonder, if this is why 60 percent of the physicians that practice in Florida refuse to join the FMA?

ed jenkins

As we have seen in the past some illegal drug abusers who think that their worthless life represents the majority of the citizens in this family friendly state will make that false argument. However the citizens trust in their most honorable doctors rather than drug abusers who are looked on with great scorn in this society.

Can't take anymore

It doesn't matter to the nearly 90% of voters who support the legalization of medical marijuana (and over 60% who support total legalization) what a bunch of rich ultra-conservative Republican MD's think about this issue. The FMA is one of the most politically regressive organizations maintaining a lobbying palace down the street from the Capitol in Tallahassee. All FMA wants is higher fees for services and elimination all rights to sue for medical malpractice.

Robert Platshorn

Great advice from the FMA, the sages of medical scam that brought Florida the reputation of the PIll MILL capitol of the World. That made medicare fraud a high art and created more opiate dependant junkies than the rest of the country put together. The FMA endoresed turning millions of seniors into junkies and won't endorse the one non-toxic medication that can eliminate most of the poisons prescribed for our seniors. Of course it's no big secret that thier major support comes from drug companies, mostly opiate makers that contribute millions to FMA top br-ass.

Lee Golizet

I find it particularly timely that an article was just released today hilighting the 23,000 deaths nationally caused by overuse of antibiotics. The majority in FL. FDA approved antibiotics. Screw the FMA and their illogic.

Thomas Bresnahan

It's amazing that the FMA will come out against Marijuana but has never come out in defense of patients harmed by one of its members! I was given an epidural injection that went wrong and caused me to live the rest of my life in horrible pain everyday. The FMA knows that Epidural Steroid Injections are ineffective, they don't work! And yet they won't take a position on this, why? Because their members are making too much money from these injections! Just like their members are making money from Big Pharma to push drugs onto patients! Medical Marijuana is going to cut into Their Profits! The FMA represents its Members best interest, Not the best interest of those in need of pain relief or the many other things Medical Marijuana can provide. The FMA should just be honest and admit that since they can't get a piece of the action when MM is made available they don't want it legalized!

Carpio Casares

The FMA is wrong for the right reasons on Amend 2!

Let me start out with what the FMA stated "When voters need advise on issues of medicine and health care, their doctors should be a trusted source."

I wholeheartedly agree. Did the voters ask for the FMA's input? And why did they give a negative opinion on it?

If the FMA is viewing it as a controlled substance or a schedule I, as it is currently in the Federal books, and they expect to treat marijuana as a prescription drug, then shouldn't it be monitored by a doctor?


Marijuana has been always been available, even since 1937, illegally. This would fit under "no training and would provide improper access?"

I think that under a Doctor's care, both of these would be satisfied at some point and would create a health history, and would be in line with a person's health history.

So, my question is why is the FMA really voting
against Amendment 2?

Bill Thompson

Agreed. These doctors have been prescribing dangerous narcotics and sleeping pills like M&M candies for a long time and those pills can really do damage and they say they are against medical marijuana because they don't have the training? smells fishy.

Michael Minardi

ThE FMA should educate themselves and listen to their patients and the science.
there have been 4 studies in the last 2 years that all confirm there is no increase in teen use in medical states. has anyone heard of the cinnamon challenge kids are doing these days. do people believe an organization like the FMA wants people to be able to cure cancer with a plant. Why would pharmaceutical companies put so much money into fighting against legalization if it was so bad for someone's health. Wouldnt that give them more illnesses to treat more medications to sell. Big Pharm is a 891 billion dollar industry. They like it that way. Cannabis is a safe effective medication every adult should be able to choose.


"Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy ... and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with 'scientific support' ... fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. ... The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents."
-- William F. Buckley,
Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495

FACT In 1988, DEA Administrative Judge Francis Young wrote in his ruling
"Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care."


Who are the people who run the FMA? What are their names and affiliations.

Carpio Casares

With decisions like that, the authority of the FMA should be limited at best. Any medical organization that fails it's patients in any regard, is failing the medical oath.

Their decision to oppose Amendment 2, is an obvious vote against patients, patient care and Doctor responsibility.

Certainly, there is a process for patients to oppose this decision or action, as it does not represent a majority of the patients, it is intended to help.

al byrne

Clinical cannabis education for medical doctors and registered nurses has been nationally available to US health care professionals since May of 2000. Patients Out of Time, Inc. has held a series of accredited clinical cannabis conferences since that time - nine, the last in May 2014. On-line accredited Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and clinical cannabis education has been available for the past five years at www.medicalcannabis.com with a direct link to the U. of California's School of Medicine San Francisco.

The FMA denies clinical cannabis knowledge not even understanding the ECS and availability of world class cannabis education.

Maybe Florida residents and the Florida media should seek out real cannabis experts to quote. The FMA and It's leaders are not those experts.

Al Byrne, Co-founder, Patients Out of Time

Patricia Young

FMA-Florida Medical ASSOCIATION... not a Governing "body" but an ASSOCIATION akin to a club. It is not a requirement to be a member of FMA to pracice medicine in the state of Florida.


The DEA, Rick Scott, Big Pharma are threatening and pressuring and paying $$$ to these doctors...plain and simple...they are afraid to lose license, money, patients etc. They should have stood with the patients regardless if the doctors believe this stuff the are lying to themselves to justify what they are doing. People deserve the right to use any plant to make them feel better vitamin C or Vitamin B12. This plant is safe enough to eat and juice or make into a tea. This plant has not ever hurt anyone...if people wish to use it as food or medicine it's their life their right their choice. Florida better get rid of that horrible Rick Scott and throw that ASAM ...SAM orgainization with that Kennedy traitor out of their state. Kennedy is bought and paid for.


Rick Simpson
13 hrs ·
"Below are just a few of the many health benefits associated with Medical Marijuana:
1. It can stop HIV from spreading throughout the body.
2. It slows the progression of Alzheimer’s.
3. It slows the spread of cancer cells.
4. It is an active pain reliever.
5. It can prevent or help with opiate addiction.
6. It combats depression, anxiety and ADHD.
7. It can treat epilepsy and Tourette’s.
8. It can help with other neurological damage, such as concussions and strokes.
9. It can prevent blindness from glaucoma.
10. Its connected to lower insulin levels in diabetics.
Contrary to popular notions, many patients experience health benefits from Medical Marijuana without “getting stoned.””
-- It's all about the right dosage and the right oils. Doses of 1-5mg of the oil are usually tolerated without symptoms, so start with very small doses and increase the dose every four days. More info about how to cure cancer using the oil can be found in the e-book mentioned below. JB
"The newest book from Rick Simpson and Jindrich Bayer specifically details how to use cannabis extract medicine to cure cancer, going into extensive detail on the official Rick Simpson protocol."


Obviously the people want marijuana legalized just look at the majority of these comments. Land of the free? I think the people should be able to choose even if they want to abuse cannabis we can choose if we want to abuse alcohol or cigarettes, and they are far more worse. Look at the statistics in the states that approved medical & recreational cannabis the prescription drug abuse has gone down and this is what big pharma companies don't want.

They want to make as much money as they can, and cannabis is a threat to them. Why can't we all be responsible for our own actions. Marijuana will be eventually legalized and there's nothing the government can do about it. The people are fighting back we are lucky enough to have a PLANT that can has the ability to cure certain cancers without serious side effects. This is a Godsend. Plus you can't overdose on marijuana like you can on most medications. Marijuana is safer than asprin and that's a proven fact you don't believe me? just google it and do your own research and then paste the sources you have in this forum. I bet you will stand corrected.


Well there you have the Florida Medical Association represents all the Doctors in Florida so it must be true -
Correction - The Florida Medical Association represents a majority of Doctors in Florida
The Florida Medical Association represents a lot of Doctors in Florida
Final Correction
I did a little re-search and guess what?
Only a Minority of Doctors in the State of Florida belong to the Florida Medical Association
And Amendment 2 is about empowering Doctors to treat patients
The evaluation the Florida Medical Association did on amendment 2 came directly from the anti 2 crowd -
If the Florida Medical Association can't do its own reading and analysis it is no wonder that they represent a minority of the Florida medical market.

Manny Johnson

In a letter dated August 28, 2014, our organization sent the following proposal to the Director of the Office of Compassionate Use
Linda McMullen, Director
Office of Compassionate Use
Florida Department of Health
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin #C-65
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3265
850-245-4662 (Fax)

Dear Ms. McMullen,

Myself (Manny Johnson), Daniel Sparks, and Kris Palmer have attended and spoken at both of the Department of Health’s rules meetings for the State of Florida’s “Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014.” We attended the meetings out of our “Compassion” for the patients who this law is designed for and hope we were able to provide some positive information that has been of help to you. We have nothing to buy or sell and have only the best interests of the patients who can benefit from the use of medically- approved low-THC Cannabis. During the hearing on Friday we listened once again to many self-proclaimed “experts” seeking to line their pockets with money from seriously ill and oft-times financially and emotionally destitute citizens of Florida suffering from a myriad of vicious diseases. We heard compassionate pleas for “HELP” from the parents of four patients and decided we were going to do everything in our power to help them.

As we were driving home on Friday night we decided to inject some real, Florida “Compassion” into this law. We formed a Florida based corporation and began contacting our friends across the United States. We named the company, “COMPASSIONATE CANNABIS COMMUNITY, INC.,” and created the financial means and network to offer the State of Florida the following FREE gift: The Compassionate Cannabis Community, Inc. will provide the State of Florida FREE of charge, the low-THC plants required to allow the Five Dispensing Organizations to begin production. We will even provide FREE freight for delivery via truck lines from the Compassionate Growers of the Great State of Colorado to Florida’s Five Dispensing Organizations. We seek only two compassionate things in return. First, the State of Florida must provide the method by which we can deliver the FREE, low-THC Cannabis plants from Colorado to their destinations in Florida. And, Second, the Five Dispensing Organizations that will be receiving these FREE, low-THC Cannabis plants must agree to “Pay It Forward,” by agreeing to provide an equitable value of financial assistance in the form of Discount Programs to low-income patients who are medically-approved to use these medicines. Our FREE gift allows for the State of Florida to work with the Federal Government to provide a legal channel for transporting medically necessary, low-THC Cannabis to save patient’s lives AND development a Discount Assistance Program for low-income patients.

The Compassionate Cannabis Community, Inc. will receive nothing more than what is mentioned above. We have nothing to buy or sell. We are simply three Compassionate, Florida citizens who saw a problem and have provided a FREE solution. Our future goal is to raise awareness and opportunities where we can help more low-income patients receive this life-saving, low-THC Cannabis as approved by their healthcare provider.

Please let us know as soon as possible whether or not you will accept this FREE gift to the State of Florida, its Five Dispensing Organizations, and most importantly, the low-income patients whose lives will be changed by your decision. This is a major undertaking by us and we need as much time as possible to ensure success.

With Great Respect and Compassion,

Manny Johnson, Daniel Sparks, Kris Palmer
Compassionate Cannabis Community, Inc.
-a Non-Profit, 501c3 Corporation-
127 West Fairbanks Avenue, # 507
Winter Park, FL 32789
(813) 789-1300

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