Florida has had some trouble keeping medical marijuana initiatives on ballots. But the measure, Amendment 2, is back on this November’s ballot. Just 2 years ago, Amendment 2, which would have legalized medical marijuana, was a huge political issue.
United for Care and John Morgan have worked tirelessly to fight for legalized medical marijuana, Orlando Weekly reports. The opposition has its share of support too, as the campaign against Amendment 2 has taken in more than $5 million in contributions. One of the biggest members of the opposition, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, says that there are dangerous loopholes in the amendment that would give children access to marijuana and allow street dealers to register as caregivers.
Sheriff Judd said, “Amendment 2 is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. You are being scammed….They are taking advantage of your compassion.” The sheriff’s so-called “scare tactics” worked 2 years ago, but many Floridians have a different impression on medical marijuana than they did 2 years ago.
Florida requires passage of new laws to be at least 60 percent. In 2014, the vote gained 58 percent voter approval, falling just 2 percent short.
Morgan’s campaign gathered more than 683,149 votes supporting legalized marijuana, which is above the required number for Amendment 2 to be on the November ballot. This time around, the opposition has been rather quiet.
Ben Pollara, United for Care campaign manager, said, “We’ve basically had the opportunity to do another draft and tightened it up a bit. We’ve changed some things based on perception and what our opponents and the Florida Supreme Court said.”
If Amendment 2 passes in November, parents would be able to give consent for minor children to use medical marijuana. Pollara said, in regards to the previous attempt at passage, that, “When our amendment went to the Florida Supreme Court last time, they filed nearly 3,000 pages of legal briefs against it. This time there’s literally zero opposition. The Supreme Court put us unanimously on the ballot.”
Orlando has already decriminalized the possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana. Tampa residents now only receive a civil citation for marijuana possession, and other cities and towns throughout Florida have also reduced marijuana possession penalties.
Advocates believe that the rest will fall in place as it should following the November vote.