2nd shot at legalizing medical marijuana on Florida ballot – TBO.com
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida voters have a second chance to approve a state amendment legalizing medical marijuana for ailments including glaucoma, AIDS and post-traumatic stress disorder, after narrowly rejecting a similar measure two years ago.
The legislature in the meantime has allowed limited use of non-smoked, low-THC pot for patients with cancer or ailments that cause chronic seizures or severe spasms, and two dispensaries have opened in the state with home deliveries allowed statewide. But delays in fully implementing the law have added to arguments in favor of legalizing medical marijuana under the state constitution.
Florida would become the 26th state along with the District of Columbia to legalize the marijuana plant for medical use. Florida is one of 16 states where only part of the marijuana plant is used.
The 2014 measure failed to garner the required 60 percent of the vote after opponents expressed concerns that Florida would be overrun with pot shops and that children wouldn’t be adequately protected from potential bad effects of the drug.
Proponents say loopholes have been closed this time, including requiring parents to provide written consent for underage patients and caregivers to register with the state Health Department.
Marie Ivey, 73, a music publisher from Coral Springs, Florida, said she decided to vote for the measure after talking to her adult daughter, who has cancer and undergone four operations.
“She is in pretty bad shape now,” Ivey said, adding that she thinks using marijuana would be “OK, if it helps.”
This year’s Amendment 2 would broaden access to diseases with symptoms other than seizures or spasms and in addition to cancer. The measure lists 10 illnesses: cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. It also allows doctors to prescribe pot for