United for Care, the group behind Florida’s Amendment 2 which failed narrowly in last year’s general election despite receiving 58% of the vote (it needed 60% as it was a constitutional amendment), has filed a new initiative with the Secretary of State with the goal of putting it to a vote of the people in 2016. The proposal would legalize the possession and use of medical cannabis for those with debilitating conditions such as cancer and HIV/AIDS, and would authorize dispensaries to distribute the medicine.
“Last time I did this, it was like a maze,” says John Morgan, head of United for Care who put in over $4 million of his own money into putting medical cannabis to a vote in 2014, and advertising for its passage. “Well, I’ve been through it once. I know how to do this. We made a lot of mistakes and we won’t make them this time.”
Although the new initiative is nearly identical to Amendment 2, a few minor changes were made, such as making it clear that a minor would need parental consent to become a medical cannabis patient.
“The voters of Florida clearly want a medical marijuana law and we intend to pass one, whether in the Legislature this session or on the ballot in 2016,” says Ben Pollara, Campaign Manager for United for Care.
Once advocates receive approval from the state to begin collecting signatures, they’ll have until February 1st, 2016 to collect 683,140 valid signatures (from registered Florida voters).