S. 2227: MORE Act of 2019 is a bill created to permit marijuana and to enable reinvestment in a group of people who were adversely affected by the War on Drugs. It was also created to provide for the expungement of certain marijuana crimes. It was introduced in July 2019 but did not receive any votes. Later on, in subsequent congresses, different voters set in their votes to support the Act. I am a registered voter under The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and I vote “yes” for the MORE Act of 2019 (Lent, M et al., 2022). Voting “yes” will provide the reinvestment group with another opportunity to thrive economically after the effect of the war on drugs.
Marijuana in Florida is prohibited for recreational use, and anyone found to have about 20 grams, or less of marijuana is arrested. Afterwards, the arrested person is jailed for one year, with a fine of $ 1000 and their driving license suspended. Possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana is a crime punishable by jail for five years and a fine of $ 5000. The sale or delivery of marijuana is also illegal and punishable by jail imprisonment and a fine depending on the area and amount of marijuana sold or delivered. Thus, the use or possession of marijuana in Florida is a serious crime punishable based on quantity or a particular area.
However, medical use of cannabis, also known as marijuana, is permitted. It was formally legalized in 2016 by way of a constitutional amendment, approved with 71% of the votes as Amendment 2. A patient can access medical marijuana if the doctor ascertains that the drug’s benefits outweigh its likely health risks. It is recommended for treating cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder, Chron’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, AIDs, multiple sclerosis and any other medical conditions of the same kind or class comparable. Therefore, medical circumstances ascertained by a doctor allow the use of marijuana.
To qualify for medical treatment, one must be a permanent or seasonal resident of Florida and have a registered ID card from the medical marijuana registry. These patients can buy marijuana from registered marijuana dispensaries called Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTCs). The state has passed a medical CBD law that allows the use of marijuana extracts that are high in CBD and low in THC in cases where a doctor has recommended treating a state-qualifying disease.
Medical marijuana is mainly used for pain control because of its effectiveness. It is very effective for chronic pain and has been known to ease general nerve pain and the pain of multiple sclerosis. Medical marijuana may also be used to control nausea and vomiting, where the most common use is nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy. It is also used to improve a person’s appetite, thus helping those who might have lost weight due to chronic illnesses such as HIV. Medical marijuana is also used in the maintenance of weight in obese patients and also in cancer treatment. (Lent, M. R., et al., 2022). For this reason, it is a medically effective substance for relieving pain, controlling nausea, and improving one’s appetite.
Recreational use of marijuana involves the use of marijuana for personal entertainment and not for health purposes. It is characterized by infrequent use, whereby the person can easily decide to use or not use marijuana when it is available. Recreational users of marijuana use small amounts, and a low amount of money is invested in marijuana. (Elizabeth, H. 2020) It is often smoked as dry shredded green and brown seeds, as a cigarette in a pipe or bong, or as a blunt. Recreational marijuana can expose users to health risks, and one might become addicted to marijuana. It can trigger mental illness, especially when it is consumed in large quantities because of addiction. Thus, consuming marijuana for recreational is addictive and triggers the mental illness.
Effects of long-term recreational use of marijuana include hallucinations, addictions, trouble learning and thinking, lung problems, mental health disorders, and even one can be triggered to use harder drugs. Although recreational marijuana has been known to cause a feeling of joy and relaxation and increase food appetite, it causes more harm than good. Long-term recreational use of marijuana has been linked to financial problems such as debts and low cash flow. (Cerda, M. et al., 2019). Moreover, its long-term consumption has also been linked to violence and crimes against humanity. The mental disorder triggers the users to commit crimes they are unaware of their deeds. Financial problems and mental disorders may also promote crimes such as rape and murder.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) has supported the reclassification of marijuana and its use medically. It strongly supports the scientific review of marijuana’s status as a federally controlled substance for research. It also supports developing prescribing standards for medical marijuana (American Nurses Association, 2020). ANA has also shown support for the establishment of evidence-based standards of marijuana use and protection from criminal penalties for patients using medical marijuana and related cannabis as permitted under state laws.
The NCSBN has provided guidelines for nursing care of patients using marijuana in the Journal of Nursing Regulation. It has listed the qualifying conditions on which treatment with marijuana would be effective, with clinical evidence. It has also explained the therapeutic use of marijuana. The guide outlined the effects of marijuana that may influence treatment decisions. It has also explained the adverse effects, routes of administration, dosing considerations and nursing implications of marijuana. (Alexander, M. et al., 2021). Therefore, the nurse’s organization’s stance on marijuana guides the senate and the public in making informed decisions. Their guidelines regarding its consumption for medical use should be supported for the public’s well-being.
As a professional nurse and registered voter, I write to support the MORE Act 2019 strongly. I support it because it would enable patients to travel across state lines with their medication without fearing penalties or being arrested. It will also remove cannabis from the Controlled Substance Act and enable states to set their policies concerning the use of marijuana. Another benefit would be those criminal penalties for federal marijuana would be removed, and past federal cannabis convictions would be expunged. As a medical professional, I would ask the senate to vote yes for the MORE Act of 2019, considering the medical benefits discussed above.
In conclusion, the MORE Act of 2019 is beneficial because of the medical effectiveness of marijuana. However, there is a need to enact policies that guide every state on the use of marijuana, especially for recreational consumption. The policies should make it cost-effective, and the senate should vote in favour of this bill.
Lent, M. R., Visek, M., Syracuse, P., Dugosh, K. L., & Festinger, D. D. (2022). Weight stability in adults with obesity initiating medical marijuana treatment for other medical conditions. Journal of Cannabis Research,4(1), 1-4.
Alexander, M., Durham, C. F., Hooper, J. I., Jeffries, P. R., Goldman, N., Kesten, K. S… & Tillman, C. (2021). NCSBN simulation guidelines for prelicensure nursing programs. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 6(3), 39-42.
American Nurses Association. (2020). Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements. Silver spring. MD: www.nursingworld.org/Code-of-Ethics.
Cerda, M., Moffitt, T.E., Meier, M.H., Harrington, H., Houts, R., Ramrakha, S., Hogan, S., Poulton, R., & Caspi, A. (2019). Persistent cannabis dependence and alcohol dependence represent midlife economic and social problems risks: A longitudinal cohort study—Clinical Psychological Science.
Elizabeth H. (2020). Characteristics of recreational marijuana: www.verwellmind.com.