Supporters line up on both sides on medical pot

Posted at 7:22 PM, May 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-11 19:22:02-04

Gail Seltzer says it's been a tough road.

"I considered ending it all because I was 97 pounds, every doctor I had been to shrugged," she says.

Pain from an inflammatory disease was making life unbearable.

She says she tried everything, then someone suggested marijuana.

"I finally did say yes, and for the first time in years I felt a tremendous sense of relief," Gail says.

Since then, Gail has become an advocate for medical marijuana, saying a new law could bring relief to thousands.

But The Palm Beach County substance abuse coalition sees it another way.

"The truth of the matter is, it's pseudo legalization," says Jeff Kadel with the substance abuse coalition.

Kadel says since medical marijuana laws passed in other states he's seen a troubling trend.

"Only a very small percentage of the people that participate in this program have a chronic illness or critical illness."

Before the Florida ballot initiative for medical pot in 2014, public polls showed strong support.

That initiative failed.

But Roger Foley, a local attorney and medical marijuana advocate, says this year could be different - turnout among older Floridians with ailing relatives could be the key.

"They're going to want to give them peace, they're going to want to help them out, and it's as simple as going to the ballot, and pushing that button for Amendment 2," he says. 

Gail hopes Floridians keep an open mind.

" I'm hoping that this is a discussion that will continued through the summer and into the fall."