Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd had some harsh criticism Tuesday for the medical marijuana amendment that's making its way to the November ballot.
Judd, speaking at a medical marijuana forum at Polk State College, said he's mostly concerned about how the amendment is being presented to voters and what it could do to Florida law.
"It is, without a doubt, the wolf in sheep's clothing," Judd told the audience and the six-member panel.
The sheriff said the proposal is masked as a way to help the severely sick, but instead makes the drug more accessible for everyone.
"They're taking advantage of the heartstrings of the people of the State of Florida. It's a fraud, and it's fiction in the way it's written," he said, even bringing diagrams with him that he said show how teenage usage is up in states that passed similar laws. "This is all about having easier access for everyone."
Several other members of the panel, including a mother of a son affected by dangerous seizures, disagreed.
"He just is injured every day. If it's not splitting his head open, it's splitting his chin open," Kim Sobecki said. "We really feel like this is our last chance to give him any quality of life."
"When we talk about improving the quality of life for patients, we're talking sometimes about patients for whom nothing else works," added Jodi James, with the Florida Cannabis Action Network.
Judd didn't disagree with that and said he wants people facing similar issues to get the help they need, even with medical marijuana.
The sheriff just doesn't think this amendment does it the right way.
"This Constitutional Amendment is the first step to recreational use of marijuana in the State of Florida," he said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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