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Florida justices approve medical marijuana amendment for ballot

by John Kennedy | January 27th, 2014

The Florida Supreme Court in a split decision ruled Monday that voters can decide this fall on whether to legalize medical marijuana, rejecting arguments from the state’s Republican leaders that the proposed ballot measure is unconstitutionally flawed.

The 4-3 ruling also has implications for the governor’s race this fall. Republican Gov. Rick Scott opposes allowing Floridians to obtain prescriptions for pot use while Democrats Charlie Crist and Nan Rich are supporting the proposed amendment.

Justices were asked to rule whether the proposed language of the citizens’ initiative meets constitutional standards. Opponents, who included most of the state’s Republican leadership, argued that the proposal involved more than one subject, confused voters, or made them think they are endorsing something they’re not.

Justices said the measure passed muster.

“We conclude that the proposed amendment has a logical and natural oneness of purpose—namely, whether Floridians want a provision in the state constitution authorizing the medical use of marijuana, as determined by a licensed Florida physician, under Florida law,” the court majority wrote.

Justices Barbara Pariente, Fred Lewis, Peggy Quince and James Perry ruled in favor of the amendment. Chief Justice Ricky Polston and Justices Charles Canady and Jorge Labarga wrote the measure should be struck from the ballot.

Twenty states and Washington, D.C., have legalized the use of marijuana for treatment of a variety of medical conditions, including cancer, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease and epilepsy.

Eleven of the states have enacted such laws through ballot measures, similar to that promoted in Florida by the organization, United for Care.


26 Responses to “Florida justices approve medical marijuana amendment for ballot”

  1. FlaNative79 Says:

    This is GREAT. Don’t forget to vote this fall people! And vote Scott OUT.

  2. TrafficAvenger Says:

    Now it is time to educate the voters on the many benefits of medial Cannabis and answer any questions they may have. This is a great day for Cannabis users.

  3. Chris Says:

    We will make this decision… not big pharma,or the politicians who are completely out of touch with those they “represent”.

  4. Panhandlemom Says:

    Let’s get to work. No pun intended. We can not let them suppress the vote. Not this time.

  5. lol donkey Says:

    take that Pam Bondi. People Have the Power.

  6. Banksy Says:

    Great news, however how pathetic is it that we need to be allowed to vote on a natural growing plant? Freedom my ass.

  7. mary Says:

    I think it’s wonderful. I have seen the work of pot oil made for medical use for people who don’t want to smoke it. The person had cancer and the chemo has a really bad side effect, the oil did the job and no heavy drugs from the pharm could do the job.

  8. Bob Army Says:

    Why not put gay marriage on the ballot at the same time?

  9. Bane Says:

    I don’t get the Repubs. How could you say it’s okay to smoke cigarettes when you know they kill people but NO to a joint? I can’t speak for everyone but I will never vote republican again. I quit!

  10. Bito63 Says:

    The RETHUGLICANS are arguing tha the proposal involves more than one subject, Confused voters and that it makes them think that they are endorsing something they are not?????????? You mean like the 12 ammendments they put on the 2012 ballot that you would have to be a lawyer to figure out what it really means???? WHAT A BUNCH OF HYPOCRITES! Now the tables are turned on you and YOU DON`T LIKE IT? Time to vote them ALL OUT in 2014!.

  11. carol ann Says:

    As a cancer patient twice now this is a good thing for Florida, let the people decide. The Governor’s poll lasat year showed that 70% of Floridians want this, lets make sure it happens.

  12. Rob Says:

    It’s about time. I grew up in the 1960′s and many of the kids smoked Mar. Don’t buy into the Govt. lies about Mar. being addictive and a gateway drug. I am a living example of neither of those things. I also have 2 college degrees- 1 with honors. I have only known 1 person who “graduated” from Mar. to a higher drug. However, I knew this guy for 20 yrs. and he only got into another drug because he met some bad people. I feel Marijuana should be fully legalized for people over 18. I have never understand why the Bible thumping Republicans are so anti Mar. Cigarettes & booze are legal and do FAR MORE damage than Mar. Yet, these Bible thumpers don’t want us to use Mar. even though it has many medicinal uses. I have arthritis, diabetes, and chronic trouble sleeping. When I smoke I sleep like a baby and have far less pain. I’ve been on prescription drugs for these ailments & it always ends up the same. They might work for a short time, but then they no longer work. And, I once was addicted to Xanax. As soon as I ran out of it I couldn’t sleep for 4 days. Pain pills are no better & addictive. Believe me, Mar. is in no way addictive. The people who use more addictive/dangerous drugs do it BECAUSE they want to get higher, period. In November we are voting every Rep. OUT of office. We want Marijuana to be legal to smoke ASAP. This harmless plant has been around longer than us so what’s the big deal? I could go on, but you get the idea. The time has come to legalize Marijuana. For those of you who don’t like it: Don’t buy any Mar. or smoke it. Problem solved.

  13. Joan Says:

    Any Republican who suffers from pain should be aware of the relief that they could get from this. It will certainly get my vote. I tried it in Jamaica at the Bob Marley compound and was able to walk and climb hills without the chronic back pain I have lived with for years.

  14. gethefax Says:

    Everything comes with a price. Some for the better and some for the worse. Its for the people to get educated on the facts and vote accordingly. There’s benefits/disadvantages as well as cost to implementing new Legislation to govern its use. And every drug has its side effects as well. Chemo as well as THC/Smoking Marajuana (300 chemicals are produced from smoking it, and thats been Scientifically proven). The Peoples Republic will decide. And remember this isnt about Pot Heads smoking weed…this is about sickness and disease and treating it for the disabled citizens…not for Partiers to roll up a joint and get high.

  15. JOEL GOODMAN Says:


  16. Post Says:

    14 pro comments and then some out if touch TOOL ( Goodman) Bondi is a tool. Now we have to all get our butts to the voting precincts in November. This should be a landslide. I’m confident that turnout will be very large as an overwhelming majority of people favor this. And then there is the dated old coots like Joel Goodman. He’s either an old man it a religious fanatic.
    Good job Supreme Court. Intelligence is winning thanks to the Internet.

  17. Rick Scott is thief Says:

    Pot can be had in every city in America – its a $100 Billion a year business that should be taxed – Republicans are the only people standing in the way – and I WILL NEVER VOTE REPUBLICAN AGAIN!!!

  18. skeptic123 Says:

    Glad to see this. Hopefully full decriminalzation will be up next. I know the cops hate to see this because it’s a cash cow for them but other courageous cops have spoken out about the need to do this. Yea progress.

  19. Pro and con and dope Says:

    @Post; I see both sides of the argument. GOODMAN is lamenting the fraud & abuse of medical marijuana that will definitely happen.
    His main point (in my opinion)was that marijuana abuse too often morphs into self destructive behavior… & I agree. I also believe that when it comes to relief from chemotherapy, medical marijuana works.
    Why lament the other side of the discussion? A lot of people misuse reefer, alcohol, etc., and that is part of this debate.

  20. hippie chic Says:

    Well, Pro and Con, first of all there is no double_-blind scientific studies that prove or even suggest that marijuana leads to self destructive behaviour or even stronger forms of drugs. But since you brought it up, ALCOHOL is and will continue to be the number one substance that is a direct cause of too many traffic deaths, domestic violence deaths, gunfire deaths, rapes, child abuse, etc,etc. People on pot do not do these things.
    Alcohol turns people into violent, abusive, insane, animals. But that’s legal

  21. Post Says:

    Hippie chic just SHUT YOU DOWN #19. Rest easy hippie chic. We will prevail at the polls and dated old coots like Goodman and #19 will fade off into the distance and seek other topics to ignorantly comment on. Subjective morons.

  22. hippie chic Says:

    A person who smokes to much pot at a dinner party will be guilty of and at risk of raiding your potato chips, falling asleep on your couch, refusing to help with the clean up, (probably getting off on the cool plant or art work you may have that just happens to catch their eye…… Now the guy or gal who drinks too much at your dinner party is at risk of breaking your things, puking on your stuff, yelling or being violent to you or the other guests, killing someone on the way home in his or her car..haveing a horrible hangover, pissing of his or her spouse etc etc. Just saying…….

  23. hippie chic Says:

    Thank you “Post”!! Can’t wait to smoke a joint legally. I think it will help so many people focus who have ADD and ADHD, PTSD, anxiety, cancer and artists block.
    Yeah, far out and groovy!!

  24. Morley Says:

    It’s obvious that the people who hate Mar. have never smoked it. I have never seen anyone who is high get violent or abusive. Most people drive cars SLOWER than drunks who put the pedal to the metal & run red lights. I used to smoke cigs. @ 2 packs/day. I used to drink beer & vodka. All it did was make me aggressive and stupid. Yet, our lying Gov. has lied to everyone about Mar. since back in the 1930′s. I saw a movie they made. Several girls who were stoned were accused of murder??? I have NEVER met anyone who was high on Mar. drive fast, start a fight, or any hostile act. Our jails/prisons are full of harmless souls whose only crime is possession of Mar. Shouldn’t these non violent people be working & paying taxes instead of costing us taxpayers billions of $$ ?? Are you naysayers like Joel Goodman so narrow minded that you can’t see a new way to help people feel better? Also, There’s NOTHING wrong with getting high in the privacy of your home. Most people fall asleep or just enjoy life when high. No anger, non violent, and HAPPY. Goodman- you should try Mar. Perhaps it would make you less paranoid. Try it before you condemn it, period.

  25. gethefax Says:

    This issue is not about your personal views of Legislators, or the Democrats or Republicans, or how much you love to smoke pot as a “Recreational Drug” (THC is a drug, don’t kid yourself). This issue is about the MEDICAL USE under a PHYSICIANS CARE for the TREATMENT of ailments…SO WISE UP and VOTE according to the intended issue.

    Unfortunately, there will be those that will MISUSE the Legislation for their own gain…(2 Peter 2:2-12)

  26. Joe Says:

    The republican mind is very intriguing indeed. These self described conservative principled people who get misty when using words like freedom and liberty are in reality very much against those two bedrock American principals whenever it involves something they are afraid of or not comfortable with. Medical MJ just happens to be one of those things. The traditional republican belief that MJ is “bad” is based on their upbringing as a child. Accepting the fact that your belief on this subject may have been wrong all along could mean facing the possibility that you may have been wrong about many of your other strongly held beliefs as well. Things like Religion, Guns, and the role government in our lives come to mind. These people tend to shut out or shut down any source of information that may cause them to re-evaluate any part of what they have always believed in. Logic and reason are simply not part of their personal evaluation on a given topic. They in effect do not have an opinion that is their own and often look to conservative pundits and legislators to find out how they are suppose to feel about something. Sad really

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