Response to David Jolly’s Op-Ed on Medical Marijuana

(This was a response from the 2014 Mid-Term Elections)

This weekend David Jolly released an op-ed asking Florida voters to vote against Amendment 2 on the November ballot. Mr. Jolly states there is no evidence marijuana has any medical benefit, going so far as to state the “vast majority of doctors” are against medical marijuana. He states these as facts, failing to provide figures as to what constitutes a vast majority, nor citing sources for his claims, assuming the typical voter will read his op-ed and accept it as all out truth.

He opens the article by making a vacant call to heart strings of parents, teachers, church leaders, and community workers asking the same question I have heard from so many people who believe in government control: “Do you want drugs to be more accessible or less accessible in our community and in Florida?” He is claiming that if medical marijuana becomes legal in Florida our children will be able to easily go out and buy it, leaving the constituents with the vision of little Timmy walking into the corner 7-11 and buying a dime bag after middle school one day. 

This is coming from a confirmed supporter of the NRA, and don’t get me wrong, I whole-heartedly support the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. So I know supporters of the 2nd Amendment always have to combat claims that if guns were illegal they would be less accessible. To that claim we always state the people who want to get firearms will get them even if they are illegal. How can David Jolly be so hypocritical in his positions regarding firearms and medical marijuana? 

He then blames marijuana for decreasing memory and impairing motor skills, but I don’t believe there has been a time he has called for the prohibition of alcohol (which has been proven in personal studies of my own to do exactly that). He then goes on in “Reefer Madness” fashion to claim that marijuana contributes to schizophrenia, even though a study released by Harvard University in 2013 states this is a myth and there is no link between the two.

He even goes so far as to say marijuana has no accepted medical use. This goes against the 23 states, and the District of Columbia, who have all approved marijuana for medical purposes. Mr. Jolly is ignoring studies from numerous institutions, including the American College of Physicians, who published a paper in 2008 stating that marijuana can be a safe and effective way of treating glaucoma, neurological and movement disorders, as well as being able to be used as an analgesic and an appetite stimulant. 

Mr. Jolly then takes time to criticize Amendment 2 for “compromising the long-standing process the United States uses to approve medicines for personal use.” He is defending the same process that allowed Fen-Phen to be mass-produced and sold to consumers for over 20 years. It is important here to remember that every drug recalled by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the government entity that David Jolly is putting his faith in, has been approved by the FDA. 

This is truly poor timing on Mr. Jolly’s part due to the study released yesterday saying that states which have approved medical marijuana have seen a 25% decline in the number of painkiller related deaths. It appears to me that David Jolly is ok with your kids having easier access to the pills that have been approved by the FDA, than marijuana, which hasn’t been linked to a known overdose, and has studies claiming the benefit is greater than opioid-based painkillers in many cases. 

In fact, Mr. Jolly stated he believes more in big government than the opinion of the voters. He thinks the voters should have no voice when it comes to their medications, and these decisions should be made by government regulatory agencies, such as the FDA. 

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