John Morgan credits voter turnout for medical marijuana approval – Florida Politics (blog)
Florida voters approved a state constitutional amendment Tuesday to legalize medical marijuana, broadening access to pot beyond the limited therapeutic uses approved by the legislature two years ago.
Currently, the law allows non-smoked, low-THC pot for patients with cancer or ailments that cause chronic seizures or severe spasms. The ballot measure formally legalizes medical marijuana, and broadens access for diseases with symptoms other than seizures or spasms.
Amendment 2 was heavily backed by Orlando lawyer John Morgan and the group United for Care.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Morgan estimated he spent between $8 and 9 million of his own money to help push for the Amendment’s approval.
“We were confident going into the election that it was going to pass but this is truly historic,” said Ben Pollara, campaign manager for United for Care.
Morgan said voter turned out was key to passing medical marijuana, which passed at 71 percent on Tuesday.
Specifically the measure allows prescriptions for 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 any other similar kind of ailment.
Many thought that having the issue on the ballot during a presidential election would carry it past the 60 percent threshold needed to become law.
“There is more embracing of marijuana, especially for medical purposes, nationally,” said Pat Allen, a 51-year old teacher from Tallahassee who voted for it.
Florida becomes the 26th state along with the District of Columbia to legalize the marijuana plant for medical use. Before the passage of Amendment 2, Florida was one of 16 states where only part of the marijuana plant is used.
Proponents said loopholes were closed this time, including requiring parental written consent for underage patients.
The Department of Health