Nearly 700,000 Floridians have ensured the issue of legalizing medical marijuana is included in the U.S. state’s next ballot.
Earlier this month, we reported that a United for Care led petition to place medical cannabis on the November ballot in Florida had reached around three quarters of the required signatures. At that stage, 140,470 signatures were still required.
It’s been just over 2 weeks since and the target has not only been met, but exceeded.
683,149 signatures are required to have an issue placed on the 2016 ballot and at the time of writing, 692,981 total signatures had qualified.
The issue of medical cannabis will appear on the ballot as Amendment 2 in the November general election.
“This is a tremendous victory for patients and doctors in our state. Amendment 2 will pass this fall and less than a year from today Florida will join 23 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing physicians to recommend marijuana to individuals with debilitating conditions,” said United for Care campaign manager and treasurer, Ben Pollara.
“Every day, doctors prescribe dangerous, addictive, and potentially deadly narcotics to their patients but can’t even suggest the use of marijuana, which has never killed a person in thousands of years of human civilization. Very soon, Florida doctors will finally have that option.”
While perhaps prematurely confident, Mr. Pollara has some basis for his optimism. Beyond the massive numbers racked up through the petition; a similar initiative on the 2014 ballot was defeated – but not by much.
A 57.62 percent majority voted in favor in 2014, but Florida’s state constitution requires a 60 percent supermajority vote.
This time around, the amendment has been refined, Floridians are better educated on medical cannabis and United for Care learned a great deal from the previous battle.
The organisation’s chairman, John B. Morgan, has stated that during the previous campaign, the opposition overwhelmed sections of the state with ” lies” and United for Care did not have the funding to push back hard enough.
This time, it’s a whole new ball game and the chairman can taste victory.
“Compassion is coming,” said an energized Mr. Morgan. “This November, Florida will pass this law and hundreds of thousands of sick and suffering people will see relief.”