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With constant changes and improvements in the world of medical marijuana, it’s important to stay up-to-date with processes here in Florida. One of the biggest changes you need to be aware of is known as Amendment 2. Since the amendment went into effect just a few months ago, we thought it was time to fill you in on all the details.

Here is everything you need to know about Amendment 2.

What You Need to Know About Amendment 2 Infographic

What Is Amendment 2?

Amendment 2 of Florida’s Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative set out to make it legal for individuals in Florida to receive medical marijuana as a form of treatment for specific debilitating diseases and conditions. This amendment also requires the Department of Health to oversee marijuana production and distribution in Florida to ensure safety and quality.

Because Amendment 2 was considered a constitutional amendment in Florida, it needed to win at least 60% of the vote. Luckily, the amendment received over 70% of the vote, winning the support of every county in Florida.

Amendment 2 of Florida’s Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative went into effect on January 3rd, 2017.

How Does This Differ From the 2014 Proposal?

In 2014, the first version of Amendment 2 was brought to a vote. Just like this version, it needed to receive over 60% of the vote to be instated. Unfortunately, it received only 57% of the vote, making it fall just a few votes shy from its goal.

Part of the reason Amendment 2 got the additional support it needed is because of four major differences from the proposed amendment from a few years ago. The first of those differences is that doctors must get consent from a minor’s parent before issuing them a certification. This ensures minors are able to get the treatment they need, but parents can monitor that the drug is being used safely.

Another major change with the 2016 version of Amendment 2 is that it puts a cap on the number of individuals a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center can help. This pushes doctors to seriously consider who they are treating with medical marijuana and if treatment is absolutely necessary.

Third, this version of Amendment 2 more clearly defines what conditions can be treated with medical marijuana. Such diseases or conditions include cancer, HIV, PTSD, epilepsy and their equivalents.

Finally, the amendment also states that doctors are liable for medical malpractice claims if they recommend marijuana negligently. This ensures they’re taking marijuana treatment into serious consideration before writing recommendations.

While these four differences may put up barriers for some to get the medical marijuana treatment they’re looking for, it does present a compromise between those who are for and against the treatment form. With these conditions in place, it will become easier to transition into medical marijuana treatment for all individuals who need it.

What Is a Diagnosable Condition Under Amendment 2?

Under Amendment 2, there are a number of conditions that may call for a medical marijuana treatment. This can include everything from pain conditions, like severe and chronic pain or migraines to seizures and ALS.

Other conditions that can be treated under Amendment 2 include anorexia, anxiety, Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, muscle spasms, sickle cell anemia, glaucoma, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and Crohn’s disease.

Debunking the Myths Around Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana is a controversial subject because it is still considered an illegal drug on a national scale. Because it is not accepted by the country as a whole, many people take issue with it being recommended as a medical treatment.

However, many of those individuals hold onto common myths or misconceptions about medical marijuana. They believe by legalizing it for some, it will make it easier for others to get their hands on the drug.

One of the biggest myths people believe is that anyone who wants the drug will be able to get a recommendation from their doctor. However, under Amendment 2, there are clear guidelines as to what should be treated with marijuana and what should not. Only those with debilitating diseases and conditions should receive the drug.

Another is that teens will be able to purchase the drug more easily and without their parents knowing. Again, Amendment 2 makes it clear that minors cannot get a recommendation to medical marijuana without consent from their parents.

Finally, many fear marijuana dispensaries will become major parts of their community, taking over the areas where they go to school, have dinner, go to church or even grocery shop. However, the regulations and application processes in place for new dispensaries can ensure these establishments do not pop up where they aren’t wanted.

Medical marijuana can benefit many people, but until more information and research is made available, it will continue to be a challenge to get it into the hands of those who need it. With the right education, we can further introduce marijuana for medical purposes.