Medical Marijuana: Group has financial backer to make push on medical marijuana in 2014

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Florida could become a battleground state. Not for the presidency but for medical marijuana.

NewsChannel5 has learned that big money is expected to play a key role in putting it up for a vote in 20-14.

"It should be left to doctors to make decisions with their patients," said Ben Pollara, the spokesman for People United for Medical Marijuana.

Legal in 18 states, John Morgan, a key financial backer of President Obama, is hoping to make Florida the 19th.

Morgan is pledging to bundle money the way he did for Barack Obama's reelection.

People United for Medical Marijuana says they will raise $10 million for a PR war, Though they're not necessarily expecting deep-seeded opposition.

"There was no subgroup of the universe that we polled, with the exception of self- described very conservative who were against this," said Pollara.

He says 70 percent were in favor, and that they have to collect 680,000 signatures to put it to a vote.

Dr. Joanna Widdows sees a benefit in finding alternatives to addictive pain pills.

"It's not that medical marijuana will be completely free of having side-effects or potential harmful effects. It will," said Widdows. "Everything has to be done in moderation. But maybe we can help people."

Vietnam Vet Bruce Campbell of West Palm Beach agrees that marijuana is a better alternative than pain pills.

"My daughter died of an accidental overdose. 32-year-old beautiful young lady," said Campbell.

He lives with the pain arthritis brings, but wonders whether there's a non-pill answer out there.

"I've got aches and pains now. I don't use the stuff, but I would consider it now if they made it legal," said Campbell.

Yet not everyone was thrilled with the idea.

Roy Childers of Greenacres had surgery a few years ago and says he felt uncomfortable with pain pills.

But he wouldn't be inclined to try pot if it were made legal for the chronically sick.

"It destroys brain cells and I would try to do the best I could without it," said Childers.

We put in a call to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office to ask if they had concerns about the legalization of medical and whether it would have an impact on law enforcement.

They didn't immediately get back to us because the sheriff was in Tallahassee.

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