Legalizing medical marijuana in the Sunshine State has proven to be a difficult road – but it’s getting closer as we speak (or as you read, whatever…). As of the afternoon of Tuesday January 26, 2016, there was just more than 12,000 signatures left to be validated before the initiative is officially on the ballot for November 2016, according to sources at United for Care.
In 2014 we saw Amendment 2 for the first time – and at first it seemed like we were going to be fine, momentum was picking up and the word was spreading. Then anti-marijuana groups decided to warp the few loopholes available in the wording of the initiative and slandered the healing herbs with a huge marketing budget.
The vote was close, ending up with 58% of the vote Amendment 2 did not pass – in Florida a 60% vote is needed for a ballot initiative to become law. With just a little more to fight back with, we might already have this program in place.
Thanks to John Morgan and his promise to bring back the medical marijuana campaign for 2016 we may get to see it happen this time around. Once the signatures are validated and the ballot is drafted, Amendment 2 will be back on the scene.
The law would allow individuals with debilitating conditions to use medicinal marijuana or be administered medical marijuana through a designated caregiver. The conditions on the list include HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, Parkinson’s, epilepsy as well as any condition in which the physician believes that the benefits of medical marijuana outweighs to risks.
When it comes to ensuring that the vote reaches that 60% this time around, the approach will be slightly different. This time of year in 2014 they were still gathering signatures to be validated – this time they’ve got time on their side as well as a much better budget.
Aside from that, this year’s election will be a presidential election which will result in a much larger turnout. One of the things stated most often was that there was a majority support, but not everyone actually votes – this time the number of people at the polls could make a world of difference.
Since last time their downfall was due to a few loopholes in the proposed legislature, this time around they’ve tightened up the wording. They made sure that they few places which may have been questionable previously were quite clear this time around.
“I need to explain to them, ‘hey guys we are going to need this because we are going to have cancer. We are going to be in hospice. Our bodies break down from 60-80. Do it for you. Do it for your wife. Do it for your friends.'” – John Morgan interview with Fox.
There will also be a much bigger focus on educating the generation of people ages 60-80 who are more likely to benefit from this change and who are also more likely to show up at the polls than the millennial generation.
With more time to prepare and get the word out, the tightened up wording and the expectation of a larger turnout, what will likely be Amendment 2 again will have a much better chance to passing.