Medical marijuana will be on the ballot in 2016
Last update: January 29, 2016
This November, Florida voters will get a chance to vote on medical marijuana. United for Care — which led a 2014 medical marijuana campaign — has collected the necessary signatures to put the issue on the ballot. The language of the initiative is available here; it requires the Department of Health to regulate medical marijuana treatment centers, which would cultivate and dispense cannabis to qualifying patients who have been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition and have a physician’s certification and a valid identification card.
Although MPP is not part of the campaign, we are excited that Florida voters will have a chance to show compassion and allow seriously ill Floridians access to the medicine they need. Getting on the ballot is only the beginning of the effort, however. Florida had a medical marijuana initiative on the ballot in 2014, which narrowly lost with 58% of the vote (a 60% super-majority is required by Florida law). But, voters in a presidential election tend to be younger, on average, and therefore more likely to support marijuana policy reform. In addition, the initiative language has been changed in response to concerns raised by some opponents of the last initiative.
Current Florida law exempts a very limited group of patients from criminal laws for using marijuana that is low in THC and high in CBD if certain requirements are met. The current law leaves many patients behind and may not help even those it’s meant to. A summary of the law is available here.
Decriminalization spreads across Florida
Since June 2015, a new trend has taken root across Florida — several cities and counties have taken steps to replace most arrests for possession of under 20 grams of marijuana with civil penalties. For more information, please see our summary of the measures.
While localities lead the way, the state legislature failed to enact any of the sensible proposals that were introduced during its 2015 session, including a tax and regulate bill that polls show 58.8% of Floridians support . Click here to email your lawmakers in support of sensible marijuana policies.
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