An initiative to legalize medical cannabis in the State of Florida has received final approval from the Florida Department of State and may begin collecting signatures immediately. People United for Medical Marijuana, the group behind the initiative, has until February 1st to collect roughly 700,000 signatures from registered voters to put the initiative to a vote of the people in the 2014 general election.
Recent polling has found that over 70% of Floridians support legalizing medical cannabis, which would give the initiative more than enough support to garner 60% at the ballot, which is required given that the proposal is a constitutional amendment. John Morgan, an attorney who’s leading the effort and a past fundraiser for President Obama, has vowed to do “whatever it takes” to get the initiative on the ballot, and approved. He expects to spend $2 to $3 million to make the ballot, and as much as $20 million for a successful campaign.
In addition to legalize the possession and consumption of cannabis for qualified patients, it would authorize state-licensed dispensaries which would provide patients with safe access to their medicine. Although specific diseases such as cancer and glaucoma are mentioned as qualifying conditions, doctors would have the ability to prescribe cannabis to anyone who they thought would benefit from it.