Florida voters failed to get enough “yes” votes for medical cannabis yesterday by about two percentage points. Voters approved the bill overwhelmingly, with 58 percent for the measure and only 42 percent against it. But a 60 percent approval rating was needed to pass Amendment 2.
Amendment 2 supporters were disheartened but promised to run the measure again in the future.
“I know we’re gonna be back here at the next election, we’re here to stay,” Amendment 2 supporter Daniel Curtis told NBC Miami. “We’re gonna make this happen sooner or later.”
Anti-cannabis supporters cheered the move as proof that Florida voters reject medical cannabis, even though they technically lost in votes by a landslide and only won the contest by default. It’s also telling that the “no” campaign often resorted to all-out lies to get their message across – including that the bill would be defacto legalization and that doctors could write reccomendations for any ailment under the sun. The no campaign also saw heavy funding from Sheldon Adelson, super GOP donor and casino owner who apparently doesn’t want the vice he pimps competing with anything else.
The bill would have allowed doctors to recommend marijuana for eight conditions, including cancer, AIDS, MS, hepatitis, Crohn’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
“We are confident that the voters of Florida have made the right decision,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, a leading Amendment 2 opponent, said in a statement. “The people of Florida were too smart to buy into the weak language and huge loopholes into this amendment, which would have created de facto legalization of marijuana and given our children legal access.”
Anti-Amendment 2 supporters also claim that the legislature already did enough to legalize medical cannabis when they passed an extremely restrictive, CBD-only medical cannabis bill earlier this year. The bill, while no doubt a great leap forward for some patients, leaves thousands of other people who could benefit from medical cannabis in the dark.
“While it’s disappointing that patients in Florida won’t be able to find legal relief with marijuana just yet, tonight’s result does show that a clear majority of voters in the sunshine state support a new direction,” Tom Angell, Marijuana Majority chairman, said in a statement. “[We] will keep pushing until the law reflects what most voters want.”
Prominent Florida attorney John Morgan, who helped bankroll the Amendment 2 campaign, said he was disappointed but says this is just the start of the fight. As he told the Tampa Bay Times earlier this month that “I lose a battle, I can damn sure still win the war.”