Florida Supreme Court Votes to Allow Medical Marijuana Amendment on Ballot

Earlier this week, we received news that United for Care, the campaign working to place a medical marijuana constitutional amendment on the ballot in Florida, had collected and certified the required number of signatures for qualification. Despite surpassing the signature requirement, the Florida Supreme Court still had yet to approve the language of the amendment. This afternoon, they ruled 4-3 in favor of allowing the amendment to be placed on November’s ballot.

“Florida and national NORML salute the decision of the Florida Supreme Court to allow our citizens the right to decide for themselves if medicinal marijuana is an appropriate course of conduct for their own adult lives,” stated NORML Board Chair and Florida resident Norm Kent, “Our group will be working vigorously, from Key West to our northwest panhandle, to pass this amendment and give our citizens the right to make health decisions best suited for their own lives.”

“This is a tribute to the initiative of John Morgan, the group United for Care, and the thousands of petitioners who labored all over the state to acquire the requisite number of petitions to get this item on the ballot,” Kent said.

20 states have now passed laws permitting medical marijuana and 2 have legalized cannabis for recreational use. Florida represents the first southern state to launch such an initiative, which divides the gubernatorial candidates, with the present governor, Rick Scott, opposing the initiative, and his likely opponent, Charlie Crist, saying he supports the effort.

The official ballot language can be seen below:

Allows the medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating diseases as determined by a licensed Florida physician.

Allows caregivers to assist patients’ medical use of marijuana.

The Department of Health shall register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue identification cards to patients and caregivers.

Applies only to Florida law.

Does not authorize violations of federal law or any non-medical use, possession or production of marijuana.

NORML will keep you updated as this effort progresses.

(Note: Florida law requires constitutional amendments to receive 60% or more of the final vote total to be approved.)

33 thoughts

  1. I can not believe this is happening. Florida?
    We’re voting on MMJ this November in Florida?
    There’s got to be a catch.

  2. Action alert:
    Call your Senators and tell them to support the House version of the hemp research amendment to the Farm Bill.
    The American Farm Bureau Federation just endorsed the amendment 5 days ago! This is really happening at the Federal Level; industrial hemp is about to be descheduled possibly this wednesday after the State of the Union address.
    The House version of the hemp research amendment allows the cultivation of hemp in Universities where states have already legalized hemp. Colorado had the first legal hemp harvest in the U.S. last September since the Hemp for Victory campaign in WWII.
    Yet the House version does not distinguish marijuana from industrial hemp as the Senate version did. Cannabis Sativa is taxonomically classified as the same species of Cannabis Sativa Ruderalis under U.S. Federal law. The U.S. Is the only country in the world that does not legally distinguish industrial hemp from psychoactive varieties of cannabis.
    Hemp requires no pesticides or herbicides. Hemp requires less water and contains more celulose than corn, making it a better choice for ethanol, building materials and food. And hemp is homegrown medicine.
    If this hemp research amendment passes wednesday, the drug war will tip unto irreversible decline.

  3. WoW …. Am so glad this is happening .As a diabetic with severe neuropathic pain I have been waiting so long for this. Go Florida and pass this !!!

  4. This is very exciting news, we have been waiting a very long time for this in Florida! There is no stopping it now, hundreds of thousands if not millions of Florida residents will soon be able to legally get the relief and therapy they need using this natural plant that gives us so much and asks for so little in return. Companies in Florida are poised and ready to rise to the opportunity and provide this kind medicine to registered patients that need it. I am very optimistic about the future of MMJ here in Florida and very proud to be a Floridian today 🙂

    MedicalCannabisDomains.com

  5. The Hemp Research Amendment has MADE IT into the FARM BILL!!!!!
    The following is a copy of the agreement that will vote into law this wednesday. Tom Murphy, the outreach coordinator from votehemp sent me a copy. The U.S. of A just re-legalized the the most valuable cash crop in our nation’s history and I couldn’t find any major news reporting on anything in the Farm Bill except for foodstamps. This is huge. It will allow the research of hemp at Universities where states have legalized industrial hemp. This is a BIG slap in the face for Michelle Leonhart and a HUGE defeat for the C.S.Act. Enjoy:
    pg.698
    1 SEC. 7606. LEGITIMACY OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP RESEARCH.
    2 (a) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding the Controlled
    3 Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), the Safe and
    4 Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (20 U.S.C. 7101
    5 et seq.), chapter 81 of title 41, United States Code, or
    6 any other Federal law, an institution of higher education
    7 (as defined in section 101 of the Higher Education Act
    8 of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001)) or a State department of agriculture may grow or cultivate industrial hemp if—
    10 (1) the industrial hemp is grown or cultivated
    11 for purposes of research conducted under an agricultural pilot program or other agricultural or academic
    13 research; and
    14 (2) the growing or cultivating of industrial
    15 hemp is allowed under the laws of the State in which
    16 such institution of higher education or State department of agriculture is located and such research occurs.
    19 (b) DEFINITIONS.—In this section:
    20 (1) AGRICULTURAL PILOT PROGRAM.—The
    21 term ‘‘agricultural pilot program’’ means a pilot program to study the growth, cultivation, or marketing
    23 of industrial hemp—
    24 (A) in States that permit the growth or
    25 cultivation of industrial hemp under the laws of
    26 the State; and
    VerDate 0ct 09 2002 18:58 Jan 27, 2014 Jkt 000000 PO 00000 Frm 00698 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6201 C:\DOCUME~1\GMKOSTKA\APPLIC~1\SOFTQUAD\XMETAL\5.5\GEN\C\CONFRP~1.XML
    January 27, 2014 (6:58 p.m)
    1 (B) in a manner that—
    2 (i) ensures that only institutions of
    3 higher education and State departments of
    4 agriculture are used to grow or cultivate
    5 industrial hemp;
    6 (ii) requires that sites used for growing or cultivating industrial hemp in a
    8 State be certified by, and registered with,
    9 the State department of agriculture; and
    10 (iii) authorizes State departments of
    11 agriculture to promulgate regulations to
    12 carry out the pilot program in the States
    13 in accordance with the purposes of this
    14 section.
    15 (2) INDUSTRIAL HEMP.—The term ‘‘industrial
    16 hemp’’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any
    17 part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a
    18 delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not
    19 more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.

    Congratulations America. There’s no turning back now. (Hey, isn’t Cannabis Sativa L. a variety of Indica? I thought Industrial hemp was a strain of Cannabis Sativa Ruderalis?) Oh well: This House version doesn’t remove the definition of hemp from marijuana so Universities can grow whatever they want I guess.
    In the words of Craig Furgeson, It’s a good day to be in America everybody.

  6. Where can people help spread the word? I would love to help educate the people and try to get all of those people to vote this November.

    Thanks

  7. Score 1 for Florida. I will be voting to pass it in November. Maybe we can be the state that revolutionizes how people see marijuana.

  8. Thank you Florida for joining in this fight for legal access to the peoples choice for medicine! We don’t want ” A pot store on every corner” Just our freedom of choice when it comes to our medicine.

  9. Ok Florida lets not screw this one up! We should be able to get 60% of voters to vote in favor for this law. Lets move forward now Florida.

  10. Amazing news about both the Farm Bill and Florida getting the chance to vote on medicinal. Soon recreational for those who don’t need it for debilitating disease like stomach discomfort and cramps for the ladies 🙂

  11. The third F (after Florida and Farm Bill) is Feral Hemp– as in the Brownspliff Program.

    Wherever you are, if you have any hemp seeds–doesn’t matter whether they are “industrial” or from some herb you sifted and toked– ride your bike at night with a bag full of “spliffs” consisting of POTting soil and one or more seeds rolled in a brown paper towel or other medium. With a (sharp pointed) dibble stick create an indentation among the roots of a neglected overlooked hedgerow or bush somewhere, stand a Brownspliff in it; ride 200 yards and plant another one, etc.

    Consider the plants, if they germinate, donated. They will get moderate shade and drippage and grow up inside a bush where no one notices them till they have gone to seed, creating a mass of new plants the following year and hastening Hemp Liberation everywhere.

  12. I would like to invite you to follow the rules, ordinances, laws, and news on Florida and medicinal marijuana. Join us on Facebook @ “Florida for Medicinal Marijuana”. Thank you.

  13. Couldn’t help noticing the ad in the header to Join the NRA. Way to go google on linking advertising to related subject matter. Should have gone with Doritos !!

  14. There is a catch @Holy Smokes , the government is handing this to us , to create a fog around what is really going on in this country !

  15. Just as Holder in August said leeways for small amount users, I think this will be logically extended to small growing, so if you limit yourself, say, to two (2) mature females per household, and millions of families do it (educational for kids). Anything bigger would have to be part of the government program.

  16. Im glad were finally making a step in the right direction, I only hope that one day we are also allowed to grow so that those who cant afford the price of marijuana can cultivate their own. Forcing someone to pay forcing someone to pay for a very easy to grow plant seems a little fishy to me. Unfortunately due to Florida law if this bill passes patients still wont be able to grow, so lets keep trying until we have the freedoms that Colorado and Washington have taken back.

  17. Dr Bob, not all sick people who really need natural meds want to grow their own. A very real market exists for medical cannabis that is much better than sick people buying big pharma poisons instead. I agree growing is wonderful fi you can, but not everyone knows how or wants to just some food for thought. Do you make your own red wine?

  18. Junebug, Most patients that don’t want to grow their own turn to a co-op or other local group who will grow for you for alot cheaper than purchasing over the counter. You can also meet new friends and learn to grow your own food as well. I’m not a wine drinker but I do brew my own beer! Peace

  19. It’s time to legalize all forms of marijuana, for medical amd recreational use,,, why not. It’s much safer than alcohol. Press on people and vote, who do they think they are….

  20. I used to smoke marijuana for 40 years and never had any problems with pain, anxiety, or depression. then I went to a pain management doctor and had to quit smoking and went on pharmisuticle drugs. now I am in pain despite the drugs and have anxiety too. I have tried to stop taking them but have gone through withdrawal. I never went through that with marijuana. hopefully we will make it legal and I can quit these damn drugs and just smoke something natural again.

  21. In 2004 I was in a car wreck and was thrown out of the car. Now I have seizures a lot, and the medication the doctors give me have rotted out my teeth. for the first three years I was smoking marijuana and only had two or three seizures a year. then I went to the pain management doctors who proscribed the anti-seizure medicine and narcotic pain meds. and now I have seizures one or two times a week sometimes more. If they didn’t have those damn piss tests I could go back to using marijuana wich was working a lot better than the meds. my only hope is to get it leagalized .

  22. I have had back trouble for a long time and was smoking marijuana for over35 years. recently I went to a pain management doctor and was put on narcotic pain relievers and I became hooked on them. I had to quit smoking after 35 years and I did not have any withdrawel symtums, but I have tried to quit the narcotics and have had a lot of trouble doing it. I hope we can get medical marijuana leagalized to save other people from going through the same thing.

  23. I am so glad. I pray it passes. I’m tired of taking all these narcotics. I know my liver etc. Will be happy to get a break.

  24. I find it interesting that there are exceptions for growing your own supply in Florida. This NEEDS to be changed before the vote. All states allow at 10 plants per household that have a card holder. Some localities limit growth to indoors. But there are a lot of people who could benefit from the use of medical marijuana who will not be able to afford the over priced cloned hi grades sold in dispensaries. The people need the choice to grow their own supply with of course the possession of a card. Although the whole medical issue is stupid, it should be sold on next to alcohol in all states with the same age and use requirements as alcohol. I see the farm bill as a way for the feds to take control over the future growth once it is completely legal on the federal level, And believe me once those in dc see how much money is coming in in Colorado they will be on that money hungry bandwagon They like spending it too much not to use a way to bring in tons of taxpayer dollars.

  25. I see personal growing is not allowed,as a caregiver is it 5 patients you can take care of ?? Thanks

  26. im sure glad that maybe this year we wont have to run and hide any more,they say asof now that 20grams or less is a misdamener,well they still throw in jail then fine you probation counsiling and drug testing.yes ive smoked for along time ihope this gose through im disabled now but i live with pain. yah! us big ups to everybody! dougie

  27. Being born in 1961 and living in Hillsborough county since 1972, all I can say is good luck. This is not the first or second time we had the required signatures for the ballot, but some Republican always have a way around the “LAWS OF DEMOCRACY”; and somehow have it TAKEN/STOLEN, the agreed upon law from ever reaching the ballot. We do have wonderful winters in Florida, but after more than four decades, I am giving up on Florida. As “Jim Morrison” sang: THE WEST IS THE BEST, and I must agree–if Democracy is what we as a country strive for, the far west is the best. Seattle’s $15 an hour minimum wage is a great example. I stated in 1980 the minimum should be $10, today every American should have a $20 minimum, Republicans don’t think U’r worth $10 with no benefits–and since Reagan and Bush SR. unlawfully used the Social Security Fund as their own war chest. Yes they stole all 1.3 TRILLION dollars, which in the late 70’s and early 80’s the SS Fund was sound, interest alone was paying all the elderly and such while still adding money to the trust fund. Now the Republicans say so many times “Get rid of Social Security, pay out no more claims, it’s broke”. Yes even according to Rep. Pres. Canidate Ron Paul who was in both the Reagan and Bush’s house admitted on national debates that Reagan & Bush blew the fund on secret stuff. Yes they robbed the bank, and now trying to spin it, but the truth is they don’t want to pay out a dime, and get rid of Social Security totally–but still collect 100% of SS Taxes from us-because they need every dime to continue running the largest MILITARY COMPLEX in the known world. the fifty trillion dollar question, WHY? Why, to keep the billionares and multi millonaires running this Country-oh you still believe the politicians run this country, well let’s be honest-there are no Santa, Easter Bunnies, tooth faries etc,,. If you think the President has any pull, why after six years the rich have gotten richer and the poor are giving up hope for any “CHANGE” .

  28. I’ve lived with chronic pain since 2001. Throughout all those years I’ve lived on opiates and drugs that literally crumbled all my teeth, and of course can’t afford to fix that. The opiates Rob me of living a full life. We need this change. Knowing I would be able to have access to cannabis topical oil for my pain and I could heal my body from the effects of opiate use brings a joyful praise….WE NEED TO GET OUT AND VOTE THIS IN COME NOVEMBER!!!

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