Florida Supreme Court to hear medical marijuana argument as supporters, opponents prepare to debate

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments on December 5th about whether a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana should go before voters.

The announcement came two days before supporters and opponents of the measure were to gather at the Lake Worth campus of Palm Beach State College for a 90-minute debate called, "The Great Debate! Marijuana Legalization: Make An Informed Decision."

"It's needed now because there are people who are ill now. They're getting pain killers. They may overdose and die when there is a safer alternative," William Deans, an organizer at Medical Marijuana Petition Palm Beach . "We're going to have 900,000 petitioners before it is said and done with who have signed to indicate that they want this issue on the ballot."

Some groups who have worked to keep drugs away from children said the measure was not in the best interest of the people of Florida.
 
"The idea of having marijuana for medical purpose comes with consequences. And, obviously, a lot of those consequences are a concern to us," Jeff Kadel, an executive director at Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition said. "The truth of the matter is marijuana, simply put, is not medicine. There is no medicinal value to it. It's the same pot that you get down the street from the drug dealer currently. There is no real difference in that."
 
The debate at Palm Beach State College will be held at the Duncan Theatre and starts at 6:30 p.m.
 
The measure, if the Florida Supreme Court allows it go before voters, would be voted on in November 2014.
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