Florida voters approve marijuana amendment – FOX 46 Charlotte
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (NSF) – Stunning even some of the proposal’s most avid supporters, Florida voters Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana for patients with a broad swath of conditions.
Amendment 2, “Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions,” received at least 70 percent of the vote, far greater than the 60 percent required for passage of constitutional amendments in Florida.
While Florida was one of several states with marijuana-related proposals on the ballot Tuesday, pot reform proponents believed the success or failure of the Sunshine State’s constitutional amendment was critically important for legalization efforts nationwide. Two dozen other states have already legalized medical marijuana.
The clear support for Amendment 2 could make Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan one of Florida’s biggest election winners. He and his law firm have spent more than $6.5 million on the effort to legalize marijuana in Florida over the past two years.
Tuesday’s victory came after voters narrowly rejected a similar effort in 2014, but the politics — and presence — of pot in Florida have changed dramatically since then.
“It’s a gigantic victory because hundreds and hundreds of thousands of sick and suffering Floridians will be able to see the benefit of this law very, very soon,” Ben Pollara, campaign manager of the political committee supporting the amendment, said in a telephone interview shortly after the polls closed Tuesday night.
The constitutional change legalizes marijuana as a treatment option for patients with conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder, cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
Florida is home to an estimated 500,000 patients who would be eligible for the treatment, making it the second-largest market in the country.
The expansion will be a lucrative boost for businesses already growing, processing and distributing cannabis in