Advocates in Florida Gather Enough Signatures to Put Medical Cannabis Legalization to a Vote
The nonprofit organization United for Care has garnered enough signatures to put their medical cannabis legalization initiative to a vote of the people in 2014. In total, roughly 800,000 signatures have been collected, with 683,149 required to put the initiative to a vote. However, given that some of those 800,000 signatures may not be valid (from someone who isn’t a registered voter, for example), the group will continue to collect signatures until their February 1st deadline.
Under the proposed law, the possession and use of cannabis will be legal for qualified patients who receive a license from the Department of Health. In addition, state-licensed dispensaries will be authorized to distribute cannabis to patients or their caregivers. Although specific diseases such as cancer are mentioned as qualifying conditions, physicians would have the ability to prescribe cannabis to anyone who they thought would benefit from it.
According to recent polling, Floridians overwhelmingly support medical cannabis, and are primed to make Florida the first state in the south to legalize it; a Quinnipiac University poll released in November found that an astonishing 82% of those in the state in support of legalizing medicinal cannabis, with only 16% opposed.
United for Care is founded by attorney John Morgan, a former fundraiser for President Obama, who has vowed to spend “whatever it takes” to get his initiative on the ballot, and passed into law.