Floridians to vote on medical marijuana in November

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January 27, 2014

By Ryan Byrne

Florida
The Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative has met the last requirement for the initiative to be placed on the ballot in November. After garnering enough valid signatures last week, the initiative has now narrowly secured the approval of the Florida Supreme Court. On January 27, the court ruled the initiative's language to be accurate, concise and constitutional in a 4-3 decision. The ruling stated, "Voters are given fair notice as to the chief purpose and scope of the proposed amendment, which is to allow a restricted use of marijuana for certain ― debilitating medical conditions. We conclude that the voters will not be affirmatively misled regarding the purpose of the proposed amendment because the ballot title and summary accurately convey the limited use of marijuana, as determined by a licensed Florida physician."[1] The three dissenting justices, of whom were all appointed by Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist (D), echoed arguments made by Attorney General Pam Bondi (R).[2] Dissenting Chief Justice Ricky Polston said, “The normal and common sense meaning of the words used in this initiative‘s ballot summary and title are significantly different than the normal and common sense meaning of the words used in the amendment‘s text.”[1] Crist himself responded immediately after the ruling, saying, “This is an issue of compassion, trusting doctors, and trusting the people of Florida. I will vote for it.”[2]

On January 27, 2014, the Division of Elections certified the initiative as "Amendment 2," which will be appearing alongside another initiated constitutional amendment, "Amendment 1."[3]

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