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Updated: 07/23/2014 08:00:02AM

Facts, not fear, should decide marijuana vote

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The Florida Sheriff’s Association’s aggressive campaign to defeat a constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana for medical purposes is a mixture of common-sense advice and old-fashioned scare-mongering. We got a dose of both when Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd met with editors from our newspaper group recently. His main message was that the referendum language is so poorly written that it would create loopholes “big enough to sail a battleship through.” He said polling showing broad support for medical marijuana is flawed and that people he speaks to change their minds when he explains that the amendment would essentially “legalize marijuana,” not just make it legal for medical purposes.

He said the writers of the amendment were exploiting voters’ compassion for people suffering from illnesses or conditions such as cancer, seizures, multiple sclerosis and paralysis, without revealing that marijuana could be recommended for more minor conditions such as anxiety and insomnia.

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