Florida sheriffs speak out against medical marijuana because they deal every day with violent crime involving individuals who often abuse alcohol or other drugs. They rarely encounter an individual like the one who was the subject of the May 4 Letter of the Day, “Let her have a shot at a semi-normal life.”
They — all of us — should look outside our own experience. When Florida votes for Amendment 2 in November, we will not be the guinea pig; over one third of our 50 states already have had medical marijuana laws in effect long enough to draw conclusions. In those states, public safety actually has improved. This is documented by six research papers, either peer-reviewed or in the process. They are all good-faith attempts at apples-to-apples comparisons. Taken as a group, these states have seen reductions in property crime and violent crime, in traffic fatalities and in suicides. Equally important, there has been no increase in marijuana use by adolescents.
In light of this recent data, Florida sheriffs should reconsider their opposition to Amendment 2.
John G. Chase