November is approaching faster than it may seem – it’s already April of 2016 and there are less than 10 months left until an election that is sure to go down with a splash. Not only is this going to be a huge presidential election, but there are many states which will be voting on some form of marijuana legalization.
Here in my home state of Florida, things are no different as United for Care, John Morgan and marijuana activists all over call for voters to say “Yes on 2” this fall. The proposed initiative would legalize medical marijuana of all strengths to people who are suffering from debilitating conditions.
There are thousands of citizens who would benefit from this amendment passing, however, it fell just 2% short of passing in 2014. Thankfully, John Morgan wasn’t ready to give up the fight yet, managing to collect over 650,000 signatures with plenty of time to spare. Current efforts are to raise enough funds to keep the campaign running strong through November.
This amendment has enormous support throughout the state, with endorsements quickly following their qualification for the ballot back in February. Much of the support from larger establishments has come in the form of endorsements, including the Miami Herald as well as the Bradenton Herald (my hometown paper, by the way) – as well as the Service Employees International Union of Florida.
Well, United for Care can put one more name on that list as the state’s Democratic Party has endorsed the amendment after a unanimous vote of the state executive committee. The party was equally as supportive during the 2014 attempt to legalize medical marijuana – as was the SEIU of Florida.
“The Florida Democratic Party supports and endorses the 2016 iteration of proposed Amendment 2, ‘Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions,’ and the campaign to legalize medical marijuana for sick and suffering patients with debilitating medical conditions,” said the resolution.
The resolution then calls on the “Florida Legislature and the Department of Health to work quickly and diligently on behalf of sick patients to implement Amendment 2 if it passes with more than 60 percent support in the general election.”
Hearing that at least one of the political parties is completely on board with Amendment 2 is great – and seeing them concerned for the same reasons many of us are (leaving it up to the Department of Health and Legislature to implement the new law). After all, Rick Scott may have just signed the bill to allow terminally ill patients to use medical marijuana – but there is still no proper way for them to access that medicine and it only covers a small number of people.
Hopefully such strong support, plus a larger election, will be enough to push us that extra 2% needed to pass this time around. I’m extremely confident in United for Care and the ability of the wording of Amendment 2 to appease many of those who are opposed. We’ve just got to keep reminding people that this law is meant to help people improve their quality of life – something we all deserve, no matter what will get us there.