Florida Approves Medical Marijuana in Landslide Victory

Florida Approves Medical Marijuana in Landslide Victory

Flickr / couguar / CC BY-NC 2.0

On Nov. 8, 2016, Florida voters overwhelmingly voted to approve Amendment 2, a ballot amendment that will legalize medical marijuana in the state. With a vote of 71% in favor, the amendment easily passed over the required 60 percent for ballot amendments, a far cry from when the measure failed in 2014 with 58% of the vote.

Under the new law, patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, multiple sclerosis, or any illness “of the same kind or class” will be able to legally obtain medical marijuana from either a dispensary or caregiver.

“This is a major tipping point,” said Tom Angell, Chairman of Marijuana Majority, in a statement. “With Florida’s decision, a majority of states in the U.S. now have laws allowing patients to find relief with medical marijuana, and these protections and programs are no longer concentrated in certain regions of the country like the West and Northeast.”

In an e-mail to supporters, John Morgan, the Orlando trial lawyer who helped fund and campaign for the measure, also praised the results of the election.

According to the Sun Sentinel, the Florida Department of Health now has until July 2017 to come up with rules and regulations for the state’s medical marijuana system. Some rules are already in place, thanks in part to a 2014 law legalizing non-euphoric medical marijuana for patients suffering from debilitating seizures.

Many expect that the state legislature will also play a roll in regulation in the March legislative session.

William Sumner, a freelance writer and marijuana journalist, was a staff writer for MJINews from May 2014 through February 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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