Sides Take Aim In Medical Marijuana Showdown – CBS Local

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – For former House Speaker Jon Mills, crafting a constitutional amendment that would allow doctors to order pot for extremely ill patients was an opportunity for the onetime University of Florida law-school dean to flex his legal know-how.

But the academic exercise became more personal a year after he started work on Amendment 2, one of three constitutional proposals going before voters this year.

Mills, diagnosed with lymphoma in 2013, is one of the amendment proponents debating the merits of allowing physicians to order marijuana for patients like him.

Opponents of the measure, led by the Florida Sheriffs Association, argue that the proposal is riddled with loopholes that will result in “a joint in every backpack” in Florida schools, legitimize drug dealers and enable doctors to order weed for a sore throat.

After his diagnosis, Mills underwent painful radiation treatment. His doctor ordered powerful narcotics, but, after taking just one, Mills said he decided he would rather suffer the pain than the discombobulation caused by oxycodone.

“I tried it and I hated it,” Mills, a Democrat who served as House speaker in the late 1980s and is now the director of the University of Florida Center for Governmental Responsibility.

The amendment would allow doctors to order marijuana for patients with debilitating conditions listed in the full text of the proposal — such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS and hepatitis C — or “other conditions for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.”

That’s a major sticking point for opponents, who use Mills’ own words last year before the Florida Supreme Court to poke holes in the proposal.

Justices asked Mills to explain what patients might tell doctors trying to …read more