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Florida Supreme Court Approves Language for Medical Marijuana Amendment

TALLAHASSEE – A Florida constitutional amendment for legalizing medicinal marijuana has been approved by the state Supreme Court for placement on next year's ballot.

In a ruling on Thursday, the court ruled that the amendment's language passes what Florida law dictates as permissible for an election ballot.

On Monday, the amendment had 431,304 of the 683,149 signatures required for it to be placed on the November 2016 ballot. A similar amendment that failed to pass in 2014 had the necessary number of signatures by January 24 of that year, the result of a massive push that followed an autumn of meager results; in early December of 2013, the ballot had roughly 135,000 signatures.
That 2014 ballot–the Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, or Amendment 2–received 57.62 percent support from voters, narrowly failing to reach the 60 percent needed to pass. The amendment failed in part because opponents successfully argued that the amendment's language was too lenient on who medicinal cannabis could be dispensed to.
People United for Medical Marijuana, the group responsible for both amendments, have answered that criticism by adding restrictive language on the patients that doctors could prescribe marijuana for. Like its predecessor, the 2016 ballot aims to give patients with "debilitating medical conditions" access to marijuana; however, this time, the term is defined in the ballot:
”Debilitating Medical Condition“ means 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.
The measure's deadline for gathering the required signatures needed is February 1.


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