Thursday, organizers celebrated a big win for decriminalizing medical marijuana in Florida. United For Care announced they had obtained over 100,000 signatures in one month, which is more than enough to initiate the first step in getting the initiative on the 2014 ballot: a Supreme Court review of the proposal language.
“Floridians deserve the right to medical marijuana if their doctors decide it is the right remedy for their debilitating illnesses,” United For Care’s Ben Pollara wrote. “It is time for us to do what our legislature should have done – grant access to those who need it.”
In the 2012-2013 legislative session, a bill legalizing medical cannabis didn’t even get a committee hearing while a bong ban made it to Gov. Rick Scott’s desk.
There’s still a long way to go. The group still needs 583,149 verified voter signatures needed by February 1 to get the measure on the 2014 November ballot.
It will then need 60 percent approval from voters in order to be made a state constitutional amendment.
A recent poll indicated that 70 percent of Floridians support legalizing medical marijuana. “This isn’t Cheech and Chong,” United For Care’s John Morgan, who has family members who need medical cannabis, said. “This is people who have ALS, bone cancer where the pain is unrelenting, MS where their body is withering away. It wasn’t party lights and strobe music with my dad and brother. It was just peace and lack of pain.”
United For Care’s proposal allows only “tightly controlled, medically prescribed uses of marijuana,” according to the Tampa Bay Times, “prohibiting home growing and and without contributing to recreational use