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Natural Awakenings San Diego

Florida Voters Get Chance to Legalize Cannabis

Sep 30, 2016 03:35PM

Florida’s November ballot gives voters the opportunity to join 25 other states in the decision to support the legalizing of medical Cannabis for individuals with specific, debilitating diseases or comparable conditions as determined by a licensed physician. According to the Florida state constitution, in order to pass the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Amendment 2, a supermajority vote of 60 percent of individuals voting on the question is required.

   Scientific study of the genus Cannabis, or marijuana, plant belonging to the hemp family, led to the discovery of naturally occurring chemicals known as cannabinoids. While there are more than 100 cannabinoids in the plant, research has been directed at only two: THC and cannabidiol (CBD). THC, found in the resin secreted by the glands of the plant, produces most of the plant’s psychological effects by attaching to and activating specific receptors in the brain. CBD is the non-psychoactive constituent that blocks the euphoric state associated with THC, according to the National Center for Biotechnology information.

   Dr. Michael Uphues, a board certified family physician and certified medical cannabis expert, presents seminars on cannabinoid medicine that include information such as education about the major types of cannabis and their extensive clinical uses and applications, and also on the political propaganda campaign that has led to misinformation regarding its use as an effective and viable medicine.

   “Cannabis has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for more than 5,000 years and in ayurvedic medicine for 2,000 years. From 1850 to 1941, it was sold over the counter in U.S. pharmacies,” says Uphues. “In today’s important research into determining the pharmacology of THC, numerous biological studies show what traditional Chinese doctors and ayurvedic physicians may have understood—humans are born with cannabinoid receptor sites in the brain. Receptors are binding sites for chemicals in the brain that instruct brain cells to start, stop or otherwise regulate various brain and body functions. The chemicals which trigger receptors are known as neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitter chemicals enable brain cells (neurons) to communicate with each other by their release into the gap (synapse) between the neurons. These discoveries and their relevance to the understanding of the pharmacology of THC in the brain provide the basis for challenging the legitimacy of marijuana’s Schedule I status on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s controlled substance list.

   “The term marijuana is derogatory. The plant should be referred to by its scientific biological name, Cannabis, and should be respected for its healing properties,” advises Uphues.

For more information, visit and   Medical_Marijuana_Legalization,_Amendment_2_(2016).

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