A constitutional amendment to allow medical marijuana in Florida has reached a key milestone in its petition drive, triggering required reviews by Attorney General Pam Bondi and the Florida Supreme Court.
The proposal has gotten 73,713 signatures, according to Florida Division of Elections data. Bondi has 30 days to review the ballot language and send it to the Supreme Court, which will determine if it's constitutional.
The amendment would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for medical purposes and allow the state Department of Health to regulate marijuana growth and sale. In the 2014 election, it fell just short of the 60 percent required to amend the state constitution.
But backed by lawyer John Morgan, the amendment has already raked in over $1 million in contributions for the upcoming election cycle.
"This is the first major milestone to bringing medical marijuana back before the voters of Florida In November 2016," campaign manager Ben Pollara said. "In the next election, Floridians will succeed where their elected leaders have failed them, and pass a comprehensive, compassionate medical marijuana law to serve the hundreds of thousands of sick and suffering people who are so desperate for relief in our state."
Bondi is required to pass it on to the Supreme Court, but she can contest the language. In late 2013, she said in a letter to the court that, "Florida law would allow marijuana in limitless situations."
It takes 683,149 petition signatures to make it onto the ballot next November, and state law requires that those include a large portion of voters in 14 congressional districts. So far, most of the petition signatures are in districts 4 (Jacksonville), 11 (including Hernando County), 13 (Pinellas) and 14 (Pinellas and Hillsborough).
Miami Herald staff writer Patricia Mazzei contributed to this post.