2016 may be the year that Florida finally legalizes marijuana. As of September there are three separate campaigns going on to raise awareness, gathering petitions and trying to get legal marijuana on the ballot for the 2016 elections.
United for Care – Medical Marijuana
I wrote about John Morgan bringing back the United for Care medical marijuana initiative back in July – since then United for Care has managed to get more than the number of signatures needed to get their initiative reviewed by the Supreme Court. Currently they are waiting approval of their wording for the ballots in November 2016.
Since their wording was only changed slightly from their 2014 attempt with Amendment 2 (which only narrowly failed the 60/40 vote needed to pass) it is very likely that the Supreme Court will take the entire time allotted to review only to eventually approve the campaign for ballots.
Regulate Florida – Recreational Marijuana
Regulate Florida is an initiative that that would legalize adult use of marijuana in Florida. Drafted by Bill Wohlisfer, a Tallahassee attorney who is the director of legal affairs for the committee in charge of the campaign known as Sensible Florida.
The goals with their campaign is to restrict the availability of marijuana to minors by limiting the illegal market for the drug. There is a strong group behind this iniatitive and it is likely to catch up to United for Care with time – but if you live in Florida and you would like to support you can print the petition here.
Right of Adults to Cannabis
The newest initiative in Florida is the Right of Adults to Cannabis. This is the only campaign that is not being led by a large group like Sensible Florida and does not have a huge backer like John Morgan’s United for Care – but they have a lot of support and the more their story gets out the more support they receive.
The most well-known couple that is working with this ballot initiative are Cathy and Bob Jordan of Parrish, Florida. This couple is actually local to me and hopefully I will be alongside them and many others gathering petitions in the near future!
Cathy is a 30-year survivor of ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease), which is a quickly progressing disease. When diagnosed they expected to have little time left together – most people with ALS, as Cathy was, are told they have only a few years left. Thanks to a strain of marijuana called Myakka Gold Cathy has been able to live comfortably 30 years after her diagnoses.
After Amendment 2 failed in 2014 after being called “a front for legalization” by the FSA, Cathy and Bob decided to skip medical marijuana and go straight for flat-out legalization.
“They think medical marijuana is a front for legalization. They come out against it, okay and we’re saying well if that’s what you think we’re trying to do then let’s do that. Let’s make it legal.”
The Right of Adults to Cannabis is a relatively simple campaign and only has one goal – legalizing and regulating marijuana. If you live in Florida and you want to support this campaign then you can print the petition here.
Both Regulate Florida and the Right of Adults to Cannabis campaigns need a total of 683,000 signatures from registered Florida voters to even be considered for the November 16 ballot. They have a long way to go to catch up to United for Care’s medical marijuana campaign – but with enough support, Florida could be the next state to legalize marijuana on a recreational and medical level.