(Miami Beach, FL) - The Florida Division of Elections shows that the initiative petition, “Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Conditions”, has exceeded the 683,149 signatures required to be placed on the 2016 ballot. It will appear before voters as Amendment 2 in the November general election after the division issues their final certification on February 2nd, 2016. The amendment was previously approved by the Florida Supreme Court in a 7–0 decision.
“Compassion is coming,” said United for Care chairman, John B. Morgan, who largely funded the signature collection campaign for the initiative. “This November, Florida will pass this law and hundreds of thousands of sick and suffering people will see relief. What Tallahassee politicians refused to do, the people will do together in this election.”
Morgan continued, “Our language is stronger than in 2014 and it shows. Pam Bondi didn’t challenge us this time. The Court approved our language unanimously. The people of Florida are compassionate. We will win this election for the really sick people in our state.”
To be placed on the ballot, a constitutional amendment requires the signatures of 683,149 registered Florida voters as well as signatures representing 8% of the 2012 electorate in at least half of Florida’s 27 congressional districts. At the time of release, the Division of Elections was reporting that 692,981 total signatures and 14 congressional districts had qualified. In addition to the signature requirement, the Florida Supreme Court must opine on the constitutionality of the amendment language, which they did unanimously in a December opinion. A constitutional amendment requires a 60% vote in support to pass. The previous medical marijuana amendment, on the November 2014 ballot, received 58%, falling just short of passage.
United for Care’s campaign manager and treasurer, Ben Pollara, said, “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. 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.”
And make sure all sick and elderly have registered to vote by mail.