Op-Ed

The Influencers: Medical marijuana is a good thing, and bad

Inside South Florida’s only legal medical marijuana grow operation

Modern Health Concepts owns South Florida's only legal medical marijuana grow operation. The company recently allowed a Miami Herald photographer and reporter to tour the facility.
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Modern Health Concepts owns South Florida's only legal medical marijuana grow operation. The company recently allowed a Miami Herald photographer and reporter to tour the facility.

We asked Influencers how Florida’s next governor and Legislature should handle medical marijuana laws:

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Franks

“All marijuana use should be decriminalized. There is no justification for its continued prohibition when far more addictive and dangerous drugs, such as nicotine and alcohol, are legal. Its continued criminalization diverts scarce law-enforcement resources away from serious crimes such as sexual assault and enables the selective surveillance and incarceration of minority communities.’’

Mary Anne Franks,

professor of law,

University of Miami

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Sirmans

“There’s absolutely no reason why marijuana should be treated differently than alcohol or cigarettes. Age requirements should be the only regulated aspect.”

Franklin Sirmans, director, PAMM

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Estefan

“Medical marijuana is effective for a number of diseases. In the end, it’s going to be like alcohol — legal and regulated. We do need regulations to make sure it doesn’t go to minors.

Emilio Estefan, Estefan Enterprises

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Wenski

“We already have problem with opioid abuse. Why, as a state, do we want to encourage use of another drug of questionable use in medical area and of no use as a recreational pursuit.’’

Thomas Wenski, archbishop of Miami

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Perez

“I believe medical marijuana should be allowed as voted. I am not a believer in legalizing drugs for recreational uses. I think it will create problems with our youth by decreasing cost and accessibility and by condoning use.’’

Jorge Perez, chairman and CEO, Related Group



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McClure

“I believe in medical marijuana and its needs and uses. My concern is the abuse of it by those who game the system. Safeguards must be in place to prevent that. I also do not believe marijuana should be legal because it is a gateway drug. However, our criminal justice system should not be punitive towards those with substance-abuse problems.’’

Bob McClure, James Madison Institute

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Dover


“I think medical marijuana should be made available only to those who can prove it is needed. I am strongly opposed to recreational marijuana use.’’

Carol Dover, president and CEO, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association

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