Thomas Paine, one of the fathers of the American Revolution, wrote in the year 1795, “The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which other rights are protected. To take away this right is to reduce a person to slavery, for slavery consists in being subject to the will of another…” While this statement was made 219 years ago, it still rings true in the ears of every American today. We pride ourselves in being a free nation, able to decide our own fates and set the course of this great country from one generation to the next.
One of the hot topics for the healthcare industry this election cycle is the Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative that will be on the statewide ballot. This amendment to our state’s constitution will allow licensed Florida physicians to write prescriptions to those diagnosed with a debilitating disease. Also, it allows caregivers the ability to assist their patients with the use of the marijuana. It will also create centers that produce and distribute it for medical purposes. No matter which side of the fence you happen to land on in respect to this issue, it has— and will continue to— generate a lot of discussion within the healthcare community.
As we head to the polls on November 4, let’s keep in mind how fortunate we are to be afforded the rights that many in the world will never enjoy. Whichever candidate you choose to cast your ballot for, or how you choose to vote for the amendments to our state’s constitution, remember to do so with pride and humility. The freedom to vote is never a guarantee or a right. Rather, it is a privilege that we have been afforded through years of sacrifice and devotion.