People United for Medical Marijuana will be filing a new initiative to legalize marijuana in Florida as soon as today, and no later than early next week. The group will be aiming for the 2014 general election ballot; they’ll need to collect roughly 700,000 valid signatures to do so.
“I have the finished product in front of me,” said John Morgan, an Orlando attorney and former fundraiser for President Obama, who is funding the effort through his own means and political connections, “I’m going to have it delivered to the Secretary of State Office by Friday or early next week at the latest.”
The proposal will be a constitutional amendment which legalizes cannabis throughout the state, authorizing patients to use and possess marijuana, as well as purchase it through state-licensed dispensaries (home cultivation may also be allowed). Given that it’s a constitutional amendment it will need to garner 60% of the votes – rather than a simple majority of 50% – in order to become law. However, recent polling has found that over 70% of Floridians support such a move.
Morgan said he plans to raise and spend $2 to $3 million to get the initiative on the ballot, and up to $20 million to run a successful campaign.