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Organization highlights statewide drug policy

On Nov. 4, Florida voters will decide the fate of The Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, also known as Amendment 2, that, if passed, would allow Florida residents with debilitating medical conditions to use medical marijuana.

In light of this, groups such the University of Miami’s chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), an international grassroots organization pushing for education and policy reform, are aiming to inform voters.

“If there is a treatment that could make someone’s debilitating condition more bearable, it should be available,” said Micah Nellessen, president of UM’s SSDP chapter. “Marijuana has a stigma, but we have an overwhelming aging population with conditions that medical marijuana could alleviate.”

The club is promoting the “Yes On 2” campaign in an effort to gather support and encourage votes for Amendment 2.

SSDP is the face of the United for Care campaign on more than 15 different campuses in the state of Florida. United for Care is a campaign run by People United for Medical Marijuana that petitioned to put Amendment 2 on this year’s ballot. At UM, the club has tabled in the UC Breezeway to register students to vote in the elections.

According to the Florida Department of State, people who have cancer, glaucoma, hepatitis C, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease and other conditions would be able to use medical marijuana.

SSDP will host a banquet at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Student Activities Center Ballroom West to share awareness and information about the amendment. A United for Care representative as well as medical marijuana patients will speak at the event.

“Everyone should vote yes on Amendment 2 because nobody should be treated like a criminal for using a plant that has been scientifically proven to treat a huge variety of debilitating medical conditions with virtually no side effects or risks,” said Colin Fitz, the Florida Campus Coordinator with SSDP.

Apart from advocating the “Yes On 2” campaign, SSDP has been pushing for a good Samaritan policy at UM. This policy would allow students to call for help if someone is overdosing without fear of getting in trouble with administration or the police.

Students interested in joining SSDP can get connected through the organization’s Facebook page, SSDP at University of Miami, or on OrgSync. The club meets at 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday in UC 207.

This story was updated at 5:20 p.m. Wednesday.


Featured image courtesy of Cannabis Training University via Wikimedia Commons.

October 21, 2014


Vivian Garcia

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