Things are not so sunny in Florida when it comes to politicians fighting over the people’s right to access marijuana for medical use. Nonetheless, John Morgan, a well-known personal injury trial attorney out of Orlando, has mounted a serious financial effort to get medical marijuana on Florida’s ballot in 2014 as a constitutional amendment through a people’s initiative. Morgan has told the media that he has taken on the cause because he has seen the benefits of medical marijuana firsthand. Both his father, who suffered from esophageal cancer, and his quadriplegic brother eased their pain with medical cannabis.A copy of the constitutional amendment petition, formally filed by People United For Medical Marijuana, can be found here. Florida’s proposed constitutional amendment calls for its Department of Health to set up a regulatory system for medical marijuana within a certain amount of time after the initiative passes.
But before Floridians contemplate medicating at home or at Disney World, they’ll have to deal with whether the Florida Supreme Court will even allow the initiative to be placed on the ballot.
Pam Bondi, Florida’s State Attorney General, has filed an action with the Florida Supreme Court to review and strike down the initiative claiming it is “misleading the public and is presented in a way that does not convey its ‘true meaning and ramifications.’” In a letter to the Florida Supreme Court, Bondi wrote that the nature and scope of the use of marijuana under the initiative was concealed, allowing for marijuana use in “limitless situations.” Bondi’s letter also claims that the hides that marijuana use and possession is still Federally illegal. The Supreme Court is expected to rule in April.
Florida’s governor (the very conservative Rick Scott) has said he’ll vote against the initiative if it’s on the ballot. It looks like medical marijuana will be a big issue in Florida’s upcoming gubernatorial race, with significant support for MMJ.
Two things appear certain: the Florida Supreme Court will decide if the initiative goes on the ballot and statistics show that the majority of Floridians want medical marijuana. Now, it’s just a matter of waiting on the Supreme Court to make its decision.