Amendment 2 Endorsed by Largest Healthcare Union
Amendment 2 now has the backing of one of Florida’s largest unions. The Service Employees International Union of Florida endorsed the medical marijuana amendment on Tuesday June 24th. The SEIU of Florida consists of 55,000 active and retired doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals. In a press release,
Martha Baker, a registered nurse and vice president of the Service Employees International Union of Florida, said, “Seriously ill patients should not have to expose themselves to prosecution for seeking to obtain the medicine they need.”
“Amendment 2 is about compassion for patients suffering from debilitating conditions, and that is something our members are proud to stand behind. Seriously ill patients should not have to expose themselves to prosecution for seeking to obtain the medicine they need to relieve their symptoms, and no physician should have to put their freedom or their license at risk for recommending the use of that medicine.”
Amendment 2 Endorsed By Healthcare Professionals
Denise Glass, RN, a nurse in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, with 23 years experience, believes that, “Expanding the medical options available to patients will positively affect their lives. Too many people are suffering needlessly because they don’t have legal access to a substance that can alleviate their severe symptoms and offer them a better quality of life. Voting “yes” on Amendment 2 is the right thing to do.”
United For Care Reacts To Endorsement From FL’s Largest Healthcare Union
Ben Pollara, Campaign Manager at United for Care was pleased to receive the support of the SEIU of Florida. “This is a very important day for our campaign and for all of those fighting for passage of Amendment 2. To have earned the endorsement of the union representing the largest number of healthcare workers in the State is particularly rewarding. We will proudly fight alongside them to secure the right of doctors and patients with debilitating conditions to make medical decisions without having to live like criminals.”
Health Care Industry Mixed on Amendment 2
However, another group of health care professionals is opposing Amendment 2. The Florida Medical Association was one of several groups that signed on to a legal brief submitted to the Florida Supreme Court opposing the language of Amendment 2. Their association represents less health care workers than the number of active and retired supporters of the SEIU of Florida, around 20,000 compared to SEIU of Florida’s 55,000 members. Other smaller groups, such as the Brevard County Medical Society, have also come out in opposition to Amendment 2. The Brevard County Medical Society passed a resolution opposing Amendment 2. In their resolution the group expressed how they believe people should not have access to cannabis based medicines until they have received FDA approval. The resolution also states that the group rejects smoking as a means of drug delivery, as well as oppose allowing the people to approve medicines through their local and state governments, believing that only doctors and the federal government are qualified to make such decisions.
Amendment 2, endorsed by SEIU, will be on the ballot for the Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 election. If approved by voters, Amendment 2 would legalize a broader medical marijuana program than the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014, which was signed into law by the Governor earlier this month. That act created a very restrictive program to allows legal access to low-THC cannabis for patients who suffer a limited number of medical conditions, such as epilepsy and conditions that produce severe muscle spasms.