Posts Tagged ‘medical marijuana’
Tomorrow is a big day for medical marijuana in the state of Florida.
Tomorrow, the Florida Supreme Court justices will hear arguments about a proposal that will *fingers crossed* appear on the November 2014 ballot – a proposal to legalize medical marijuana.
Eight out of 10 Florida voters support medical use of marijuana according to a recent poll, and as long as sponsors reach 700,000 validated voter signatures by February 2014, the proposal will appear on the November 2014 ballot.
What is there to argue about, then? Two issues: whether ballot language is accurate, and whether the proposal encompasses a single subject. The state GOP leaders and others critical of a medical marijuana amendment believe the language would lead to more recreational use of marijuana rather than just being used to treat critical illness. They also argue that it is too broadly written to fit the “single subject” requirement.
Despite the opposition, the proposal has garnered enough popularity to become a hot issue in Florida. Supporters like former House Speaker Jon Mills, trial lawyer and major funder John Morgan, and several policy groups have been vocal in their arguments in favor of the amendment, appealing to the public’s sensitive side. According to an article in the Herald Tribune, Morgan appeared in a radio ad with the following quote:
“Medical marijuana has been proven to give our loved ones relief they need, helping with pain, appetite, seizures and spasms. Unfortunately, Tallahassee politicians refused to vote on the issue last session. They wouldn’t even hear testimony from patients and their families. Therefore, we will take this act of mercy to you, the people.”
What will the outcome be? Only time will tell! We’re rooting for you, Florida.
If you’ve ever wanted a big picture snapshot of pot legislation in the United States, look no further than High Times. They recently published the article US Pot Legalization Roundup that covers where the states are in the legalization/decriminalization process.
According to High Times, forty states and the District of Columbia are in the process of developing pro-cannabis legislation regarding both medical and recreational use. They also quote statistics from WestlawNext:
- 24 states along with the District of Columbia have already made medical marijuana legal.
- 13 states have proposed legislation for the regulation of recreational pot.
- 16 additional states are working to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes.
- A handful of states, including New York and Idaho, have no legislation in the works and little intention of developing any.
So, more specifically, what’s the story for Texas? We’re glad you asked! The Huffington Post published an article last week with data from Public Policy Polling stating 58% of Texans “support making marijuana legal for adults and regulating it like alcohol” and 61% support decriminalizing marijuana possession. Only 31% of adults in Texas oppose the legalization of medical marijuana for critically and terminally ill patients. Currently, Texas law considers marijuana possession – even on a small scale – as a criminal offense punishable by $2,000 in fines and even possible jail time.
The times, they are a-changin’!