I started this fight for my brother Tim, who without marijuana would either be dead or in intense pain every day of his life... and for my dad, who was able to keep his strength and stay with us a little longer, thanks to marijuana.
But it's turned into something very different for me. Something else happened along the way. This battle has become less about my brother and more about the people I've met, the stories I've heard and the realization of how many people will truly benefit from this law on Day One.
Over these last years, I've met thousands of people whose quality of life (or that of their friends/family) depend on medical marijuana passing.
I was at a wedding recently and a woman pulled me aside to tell me her husband wanted to meet me. He was in a wheelchair and shared that he was a police officer who was forced into an early retirement by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. He thanked me for fighting for medical marijuana because it was one of the only things that helped him, but he hated that he had to break the law to see that relief.
I hear stories like that every day:
•The single mom who has her toddler on dog tranquilizers, but who is still having dozens of seizures a day.
•The son who lost his mother to cancer, but who marijuana afforded some quality of life to in her last living days.
•The veteran returning home from Iraq, who would wake up sweating and screaming every hour of every night, until a fellow vet suggested he try a little marijuana before bed.
•The man who lost a leg in a car accident and endured the severe, chronic pain of phantom limb syndrome until deciding to break the law and quiet his pain with marijuana.
These are the faces of this campaign. These people—and thousands of others who I've met or who have written or called to share their stories — are now why I've spent almost four years and millions of dollars fighting for medical marijuana in Florida.I've also met hundreds of doctors and nurses throughout the state who have begged me to keep fighting. Some of them have come forward, many of them can't yet. But, like Sanjay Gupta, they are convinced of the science and are no longer willing to deny patients relief.
I've put in millions but it will be worth it on November 8th if we pass Amendment 2. I know many of you have given generously and feel the same way.
The people driving the No campaign, though, will not stop. They continue to push their lies and scare tactics in the hopes they can fool the electorate again.
In 13 days, God willing, we will have shut them down for good. But in the meantime, we must not assume we've won it. We must fight as hard as ever.
Patients should come first.
Don't quit. This matters.
Please help United for Care close out these last days on behalf of patients. Donate here today and my friend Barbara will match it 5 to 1.