Sheriff Grady Judd, John Morgan face off in medical marijuana debate

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LAKELAND, Fla. - Medical marijuana was the hot topic at a debate in Polk County Thursday.

It featured prominent Orlando attorney John Morgan, who led the effort to get the issue on the November ballot, and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, who worries it will become a detriment to society.

Both sides went back and forth on the issue for nearly two hours.

Around 500 people were in the crowd at Harrison School for the Arts in Lakeland to listen to arguments about the amendment, which asks if the state should allow the use of marijuana by a person diagnosed with a debilitating condition, like cancer or HIV.

“Are we going to wait for the pharmaceutical companies to make billions when we have an herb—a plant—for us by God that works?” argued Morgan.

Judd talked about the challenges of policing medical marijuana, specifically focusing on traffic stops where it’s in the vehicle.

“This medical marijuana amendment is going to have all kinds of unintended consequences and be exceptionally complicated to enforce,” Judd said.

Morgan discussed distribution centers and how they’ll be necessary in Florida.

“The pharmacists do a great job but people who know this business will absolutely and utterly amaze you,” Morgan said.

The issue goes to the voters on Nov. 4. It requires a 60 percent majority to be added to the state constitution.