Florida voters will decide whether to legalize marijuana for medical use, after the state Supreme Court ruled Monday that a proposed constitutional amendment won’t mislead people when they go to the polls in the Nov. 4 elections.
“Voters are given fair notice as to the chief purpose and scope of the proposed amendment, which is to allow a restricted use of marijuana for certain ‘debilitating’ medical conditions,” the court said in a 4-3 ruling that split liberals and conservatives. “We therefore reject the opponents’ assertion that the amendment ‘would allow far wider marijuana use than the ballot title and summary reveal.’ ”
By knocking down a core objection to the amendment, the justices dealt a serious blow to the talking points of opponents who called the measure a type of backdoor legalization that allows for “unfettered” marijuana use for minor ailments.
Leading the opposition: Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, state House Speaker Will Weatherford, state Senate President Don Gaetz and many conservative-leaning lobby groups based in Tallahassee. Gov. Rick Scott also opposes the proposed amendment.
Democratic governor candidates Charlie Crist and Nan Rich support the amendment, as does Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie.
The amendment draws strong bipartisan support from voters, according to polls, so the effect it will have on the gubernatorial race is debatable.
Numerous polls show Florida’s measure would pass if the vote were held today, with one survey showing support as high as 82 percent. The most recent Public Policy Polling survey gauged voter support at 65 percent.
If the amendment passes — for which it needs 60 percent of the vote — Florida would become the 21st state plus the District of Columbia to decriminalize marijuana for medical use. Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level.
Ruling is here Download Marijuana Ruling