Despite the Florida Supreme Court holding up the actual petition over charges that it deceptively would open the floodgates of outright legalization in the Sunshine State from the state attorney general, the People United for Care proposal to legalize medical cannabis is gaining support.
Recent polls have shown it with support as high as 68 percent and the campaign has collected nearly 700,000 signatures so far. That’s about 17,000 more than the required 683,000 to make the ballot, but supporters say they need some cushioning in there for invalid signatures.
As currently written on the petition, patients would qualify for a medical cannabis recommendation for conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, Parkinson’s and “other conditions” if the physician thinks the patient would benefit from it.
The laws would allow for medical marijuana patients to grow their own supply or assign a private caregiver to grow for them. The state would also regulate medical marijuana “treatment centers”, where patients could purchase marijuana in a retail setting. Details of the bill, including how much cannabis each patient would be allowed to possess would be left up to the state health department to decide if the bill is passed.
“The [polls]again demonstrates the broad support for a compassionate medical marijuana policy,” Ben Pollara, campaign manager for United for Care, which is sponsoring the ballot initiative, told the Tampa Bay Times. “If given the chance, Floridians will overwhelmingly support a medical marijuana law.”
Supporters say they are trying to reach at least 900,000 signatures to play it safe before the February 1, 2014 deadline drops on them.
But the battle in the state Supreme Court may invalidate the group’s effort entirely. Attorney General Pam Bondi argues that the bill would create an unregulated system where a doctor could recommend medical cannabis for any reason to any person. A PolitiFact report on Bondi’s argument said it was “mostly true”.