Medical Marijuana in Florida is Underway
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 11/21/2011 in Medical Marijuana Laws
We have some good news for Florida residents and patients: Medical marijuana may soon be coming to the Sunshine State. But first, it must go through some hurdles.
The first steps towards legalizing medical marijuana were taken this week, with State Senator Larcenia Bullard (D-Miami) stepping up to sponsor a bill in the Senate that would allow seriously ill patients to use cannabis under physician’s recommendation. Or at least get the issue on the ballot in 2012. This bill was introduced into legislation last month but State Representative Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth) that would let Floridians vote on whether or not they want medical marijuana in their state.
But before voters get their say, the bill has a bit of a ways to go. First it must pass both the House and the Senate by a three-fifths majority before it will appear on the ballot, and medical marijuana supporters are worried it might not pass due to Florida’s largely Republican House and Senate. Once approved by the House and Senate, it would then need to get 60% of all voters to approve the amendment. And a recent poll put just 57% of Florida voters in favor of passing medical marijuana laws.
But this isn’t the only hope for medical marijuana in Florida. If for some reason this bill falls through, there is another effort to get medical marijuana in the 2012 ballot. People United for Medical Marijuana (PUFMM) is currently gathering signatures for a petition to get medical marijuana on the 2012 ballot. However, as of November 1, 2011, the petition only had about 4.4% of the 676,811 valid signatures needed by February 1.
Either way, we’ve got out fingers crossed that one of these avenues gets medical marijuana on the ballot in Florida. Not only will it help patients, but it’ll help the struggling state. According to Clemens, legalizing medical marijuana could bring in $5 to $12 million a year in tax revenue for Florida, which has seen it’s fair share of economic woes lately. And of course there is the prescription drug addiction epidemic in Florida, and many hope that medical marijuana will offer a natural and less addictive alternative for the state that NPR says is “the epicenter of a prescription drug abuse epidemic.”
We’ll keep you posted on any Florida medical marijuana updates.