An advocacy group has gathered enough signatures to ensure that an amendment to Florida’s constitution which would legalize medical cannabis will appear on the state’s ballot in November.
“This November, Florida will pass this law and hundreds of thousands of sick and suffering people will see relief,”
said John Morgan, an Orlando lawyer and chairman of United for Care, the group that spearheaded the signature drive.
“What Tallahassee politicians refused to do, the people will do together in this election.”
Legalized medical cannabis has been a hot-button issue in Florida for several years, with a legalization amendment in 2014 falling just short of the 60 percent threshold needed for passage. Morgan, however, believes that this is the year that will finally see its passage. The most recent Quinnipiac poll revealed that nearly 90 percent of Florida voters support the legalization of cannabis for medicinal use.
“Our language is stronger than in 2014 and it shows,”
“The people of Florida are compassionate. We will win this election for the really sick people in our state.”
Under the measure to appear on the 2016 ballot, state-licensed physicians would be able to recommend the use of cannabis to patients suffering from conditions like epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS and cancer.
The proposed amendment is advancing concurrently with a statehouse measure that looks to broaden terminal patients’ access to medical cannabis. Florida has already enacted what is referred to as a CBD-only law, meaning terminal patients currently may only use cannabis strains that are low in THC and high in CBD. Like the voter initiative, the statehouse measure also seeks to allow terminal patients access to stronger, full potency, whole-plant medicinal cannabis.
While single cannabinoid therapies, like CBD-only, are successful in the treatment of some conditions, multiple cannabinoids working together in a process known as the entourage effect is labeled by experts as most medicinally beneficial.
United for Care invested heavily in the signature effort, using approximately $3.3 million, which constituted nearly all of its donations.