Medical Marijuana Is a Go on Florida 2016 Ballot

     TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CN) – An initiative to allow marijuana use by those with “debilitating medical conditions” will appear on the Nov. 2016 ballot in Florida, the state Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.
     People United for Medical Marijuana proposed the constitutional amendment, which would create treatment centers and certify caregivers and physicians to dispense the drug.
     Among those who will be eligible use medical marijuana to manage their symptoms should the measure pass are patients with cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, and AIDS, PTSD, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
     In its per curiam ruling, the court held the proposed amendment met all requirements for placement on next year’s ballot. Specifically, the justices said, the initiative complies with the state’s “single-subject requirement” and does not attempt to “logroll” other legislation into the bill.
     The opinion also touched on the ballot issue’s wording:
     “The ballot title and summary fairly inform voters of the purpose of the proposed amendment-the state authorization of medical marijuana for patients with debilitating medical conditions. The language is clear and does not mislead voters regarding the actual content of the proposed amendment.”
     The proposed amendment’s financial impact statement also complies with state law, the court said.
     The opinion says that the financial statement “clearly and unambiguously states that there are likely increased costs associated with the additional regulatory and enforcement activities that the proposal would require, but that the amount could not be determined and fees may offset a portion of the increased costs. Additionally, the financial impact statement clearly and unambiguously explains that the Financial Estimating Conference could not determine the change in revenue.”
     In a written statement, backers of the amendment, now calling themselves United for Care, said “The unanimous decision by the Florida Supreme Court to approve the new medical marijuana constitutional amendment is a huge victory for hundreds of thousands of sick and suffering Floridians who could benefit from the passage of such a law.”
     But if the legal battle over the ballot measure is over, supporters of the measure still have one last hurdle to overcome to ensure voters get to have their say on issue. They need to collected nearly 700,000 validated petition signatures to secure the measure’s spot on the ballot.

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