Health & Human Services

Florida's High Court Adds Medical Marijuana to Ballot

January 28, 2014
 

Floridians will vote on medical marijuana come November, after a divided Florida Supreme Court ruled Monday that ballot language for a proposed constitutional amendment meets all legal requirements.

If at least 60 percent of voters agree, Florida could become the first Southern state to legalize use of marijuana for health-related reasons.

The ballot measure could also affect the governor's race, with Republican Gov. Rick Scott opposed to the measure and Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist in favor.

The amendment, which would allow marijuana use with a doctor's recommendation and allow sale through state-regulated dispensaries, was proposed by United for Care, an advocacy group headed by Orlando attorney John Morgan, who employs Crist.

After a recent flurry of petition gathering, the group turned in enough valid signatures last week to force a vote. Court approval of the ballot — barely achieved with the 4-3 decision — was the final hurdle.

"I'm grateful that the court listened to our arguments,'' Morgan said. "Next we will begin the campaign stage. You are going to see people rise up who are the parents and siblings and spouses of really sick people who know this works and you are going to see a grass roots movement like you have never seen before in Florida.''

Scott said he would oppose the amendment.

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