Signing Petition for Legalizing Medical Marijuana in Florida
Posted on October 21, 2013 by Jeffrey FeilerOn August 15, 2013, United for Care, an organization dedicated to legalizing medical marijuana in the State of Florida, surpassed the 100,000 signature threshold to have the Florida Supreme Court review the language of its proposed amendment to legalize medical marijuana. This was the first step in placing the amendment on Florida's November 2014 ballot. Now the Florida Supreme Court will have a hearing to consider the proposed language of the Constitutional amendment on December 5, 2013.
Florida Senator Jeff Clemens and Florida Representative Katie Edwards spearheaded the last legislative effort to legalize medical marijuana in the Florida Senate and Florida House. Senate Bill 1250, also known as the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act, would have allowed medically-qualifying patients and officially designated caregivers to possess up to four ounces of marijuana or grow up to eight marijuana plants. The bill would have designated authority to the Florida Department of Business and Regulation to license and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state. The bill, assigned to the Health Policy Committee, was never brought up for a vote. A similar bill in the house, HB 1139, also died in committee.
In response to the two bills going unrepresented in committee, United for Care initiated a renewed effort to legalize medical marijuana in Florida. Rather than relying on a legislative bill to get the law passed, United for Care plans to gather the 700,000 signatures needed to place the amendment for legalizing medical marijuana in Florida on the November 2014 ballot.
The drive to gather signatures began in mid July, and within a month United for Care already obtained more than the 100,000 signatures necessary for the Florida Supreme Court to review the language of the proposed amendment. United for Care needs approximately 580,000 more signatures before February 1, 2014 for the proposed amendment to be included on the ballot. Once included, the amendment must pass by 60% of the vote.
Most Floridians have a positive attitude towards medical marijuana. A recent poll indicates that 70% of Floridians support the legalization of medical marijuana, and 56% of Republicans. In order for the amendment to be placed and passed on the November 2014 ballot, it is essential that every member of that 70% make their opinion known: by signing the petition, and preparing for that November 2014 ballot. Please promptly sign and mail the United for Care petition at http://www.unitedforcare.org/petition, and vote to approve the amendment on November 2014.