Floridians Pass Amendment 2 Legalizing a New Medical Marijuana Program – Cannabis Business Times
Floridians voted in support of Amendment 2, legalizing a new, more comprehensive medical marijuana program.
The Amendment passed by a landslide vote of 71.29% (6,495,970 votes) to 28.71% (2,616,037 votes) on Nov. 8, after a contentious history surrounding the Amendment — including a disappointing loss for a similar amendment by the same name in the November 2014 election (falling just 2.42 percent shy of the 60-percent support needed for a constitutional amendment to pass) and a lawsuit filed just weeks before this year’s election over a number of vote-by-mail ballots missing the referendum for Amendment 2.
Titled “Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions,” the Amendment replaces the state’s limited Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 and allows for the use of medical marijuana by patients who are suffering “debilitating medical conditions” as determined by a licensed Florida physician. Those conditions are defined in the Amendment as “cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated, and for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.”
Patients will require physician certification and a valid qualifying patient identification card to participate in the program.
The program will be overseen by the state Department of Health (DOH), which will “register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue identification cards to patients and caregivers,” according to the Amendment text.
The DOH will be tasked with establishing “regulations necessary for the implementation and enforcement of this section … to ensure the availability and safe use of medical marijuana by