Florida's Deputy Director of NORML on Amendment 2's Anti-Cannabis Foes and Fishy Ballot Screw-Ups – MERRY JANE
Back in 2014, over 57 percent of those who voted in the state of Florida said yes on the Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative. Unfortunately, due to state law, the amendment needed over 60 percent support to pass, and thus, the proposal was denied despite the fact it had majority support. After barely missing the mark, advocates have worked tirelessly to ensure that the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative (Amendment 2) passes this time around. But the battle to pass more comprehensive medical cannabis legislation has been one with grueling challenges.
The casino and alcohol industries are staunchly opposed to Amendment 2 and anti-cannabis lobbyists have created some ridiculous advertisements and claims. On top of that, the state has had a number of glaring issues getting the proposal onto their ballots. Last week, the Florida chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) stepped in to file a lawsuit against the Broward County Supervisor of Elections, Brenda Snipes. The accusation came after Amendment 2 did not appear on a number of vote-by-mail ballots.
According to Karen Goldstein, Deputy Director of the NORML in Florida chapter, there are around 92 different ballot styles in all of Florida, and five to seven of them could potentially be missing Amendment 2. The original claim came from former Oakland Park Commissioner Anne Salle, who came forth with complaints that Amendment 2 was nowhere to be found on her or her husband’s mail-in ballots. Snipes has tried to downplay the accusation as a one-off mistake.
“We had an emergency hearing this past week,” Goldstein says. “A representative of the Supervisor of Elections told us that there were between five and seven test ballots reprinted for one specific precinct because there was a change in candidates or something like that. So,