The fate of Amendment 2 will be decided in less than five weeks, but one group has already released its recommended framework for how a system that regulates medical marijuana would work.
The 12-member Florida For Care Blue Ribbon Commission, which includes Democrats and Republicans, and representatives from law enforcement, business, health and other areas, has released proposed principles that range from patient protection to professional licenses and packaging. It addresses issues like physician requirements and continuing education, regulations on caregivers and a compassionate use registry.
Former state Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla, a Miami Republican, and vice chair of the commission, said he doesn't plan on voting for the amendment but he joined the group to help devise a plan that would incorporate different views and assist the legislature in determining safeguards if the amendment passes.
Constitutional amendments need 60 percent of the vote to pass. The polling average of the last major public surveys shows about 64 percent of Florida voters favor Amendment 2.
"I am against the amendment because I don't think enough research has been done," Diaz de la Portilla said, "but if the people want it and it passes, then we need to get it right. ... If you have people who are for it and against it, what comes out is a better, well thought-out plan."
Despite his opposition, Diaz de la Portilla said Republicans and Democrats "have to be open-minded."
The proposal is a "starting point," said the commission's chairman, Jon Mills, who is the Amendment 2 author and a former speaker of the House.