Monday, January 27, 2014

Medical marijuana ballot language okayed by Florida State Supreme Court

Posted By on Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Floridians will get to vote on medical marijuana legalization this November.
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  • Floridians will get to vote on medical marijuana legalization this November.

The Florida State Supreme Court has approved language for the medical marijuana legalization amendment to be placed on November's ballot.

United for Care, the campaign behind the citizen-petition-led amendment, announced Friday that the Supervisor of Elections had verified 710,000 signatures (of the 1.1 million submitted), enough to get the amendment on the ballot come November.

Creative Loafing reported in November on the myriad obstacles that lay ahead for the campaign, the two most immediate being language approval by the state Supreme Court and amassing the required number of verified signatures.

Now, United for Care has both.

Gubernatorial candidate (and former Florida Governor) Charlie Crist said he'd support the amendment.

"This is an issue of compassion, trusting doctors, and trusting the people of Florida," Crist announced in a press release Monday. "I will vote for it."

According to the 75-word ballot summary, the amendment lays groundwork for the following: “Allows the medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating diseases as determined by a licensed Florida physician. Allows caregivers to assist patients’ medical use of marijuana. The Department of Health shall register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue identification cards to patients and caregivers. Applies only to Florida law. Does not authorize violations of federal law or any non-medical use, possession or production of marijuana.”

A recent Quinnipiac poll showed that 82 percent of Floridians would support medical marijuana in the Sunshine State.

"We are planning for the general election next week," Ben Pollara, United for Care's campaign manager recently told CL. "We're doing outreach with labor unions, consumer groups and political groups. Basically, getting all the people who signed the petition to go out and vote."

Voters will decide the fate of the amendment this November.

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