Medical marijuana amendment approved – Miami Herald
Patients suffering from debilitating illnesses will soon have access to medical marijuana in Florida after voters approved Amendment 2 Tuesday.
By 8:30 p.m. it was clear that Amendment 2 would pass with well above the required 60 percent threshold. The amendment inserts language into the Florida Constitution allowing those with cancer, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy and a host of other conditions to use marijuana if it is recommended by their doctor.
“Getting over 60 percent at this point means so much both symbolically and legally because we’re able to relinquish the name of criminals that has been forced on us,” said Moriah Barnhart of Brandon, whose daughter Dahlia uses cannabis as treatment for brain cancer after being diagnosed at age 2.
Just two years ago, a similar provision fell short. That makes this victory particularly sweet for John Morgan, the Orlando trial lawyer who bankrolled the marijuana campaign’s effort to secure a spot on the ballot this year.
Florida becomes the 26th state to legalize marijuana for either medical or recreational use. Arkansas and North Dakota voters are considering similar ballot issues this year as well.
In addition to the medical marijuana measure, Floridians approved two property tax-related amendments to the state Constitution. Amendment 3 creates a tax exemption for firefighters, law enforcement and correctional officers disabled after being injured in the line of duty. Amendment 5 allows cities and counties to extend a tax exemption for low-income seniors if the value of their home grows beyond the $250,000 cap already on the books.
Questions remain about how the medical marijuana amendment will be implemented.
The Florida Department of Health has until July 2017 to pass regulations under the new amendment. By October, the state must start registering growers, dispensaries and other facilities and start issuing identification cards for patients approved to