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Florida witnesses steep surge in aspiring medical marijuana card holders

Published On: 09-01-2017 in Category: addiction, Drug Addiction, Marijuana

Authorities in Florida are unable to keep pace with the growing numbers of new patients aspiring to seek access to medical marijuana. In fact, the passage of a new law expanding the list of diseases that qualify for cannabis-aided treatment has led to thousands of new applicants. Since June 7, 2017, Florida has witnessed an almost 100 percent jump in the number of patients verified as eligible for medical marijuana from 16,760 to more than 31,000 on Aug. 21, 2017.

Under normal circumstances, it takes 30 days for someone suffering from cancer, HIV or any other chronic ailment to get a medical marijuana card. Also, frustrated patients have gone ranting all over social media about applications getting rejected on different grounds. As per official records, the state had issued 12,226 medical cannabis cards as of Aug. 6.

On the other hand, doctors seeking a state-required training, which is still not made available, are also disappointed. “I doubt if the state was prepared for this,” said Pete Sessa, chief operating officer of the advocacy-minded Florida Cannabis Coalition.

Marijuana addiction across Florida

In November 2016, with the passage of amendment 2 or the Florida Medical Marijuana Legislation Initiative, medical use of marijuana was legalized across the state. However, this has also opened up a can of worms. Florida, which is already battling numerous addictions to different drugs, now has to deal with a plethora of problems involving cannabis abuse and addiction.

Just as in any other state nationwide, marijuana is the most popular illicit drug used by the youth in Florida. According to the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association (FADAA), marijuana use among 9th-grade students in Florida is increasing since 2015 with 15.2 percent reporting that they first used the drug at the age of 13. Besides, studies suggest that early addiction to cannabinoids multiplies the risk of grave behavioral health concerns during adulthood.

The surge in marijuana addiction rates nationwide can be attributed to the growing ease of availability, perceived harmlessness and the increasing social acceptance of the drug. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has neither recognized nor approved the medicinal value of marijuana. It continues to be classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act because of its mind-altering nature and high potential for abuse.

Battling addiction menace

If you or your loved one is battling addiction to marijuana, or any other substance, seek treatment immediately. The Miami Drug Treatment and Rehab Center can help you get one of the best addiction treatment programs and embrace sobriety. You may call at our 24/7 helpline 305-615-2028 for more information on different treatment options in your vicinity.

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