With Monday’s 4-3 Florida Supreme Court ruling stating the intent of a citizen-backed constitutional amendment is to “allow [marijuana] use for a serious medical condition or a disease” the initiative that could bring medical marijuana to the Sunshine State will now appear on the November ballot.
The amendment was examined by the court because of an October 2013 request from Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to determine the “validity of the citizen initiative petition.” The petition, brought forward by People United for Marijuana as the United for Care campaign, will need a 60 percent vote of approval to succeed.
If passed by voters, the amendment will establish a medical marijuana system in Florida allowing physicians to recommend the medicinal use of cannabis for those with “debilitating medical conditions.” Caregivers 21 and older would be allowed to treat no more than five qualifying patients with an “adequate supply” of cannabis based on the “best available evidence.”
With voter approval, the amendment would become effective Jan. 6, 2015. The Department of Health would then implement regulations in six months and must begin issuing medical cannabis cards in nine months.
If passed into law, the amendment would allow state-licensed facilities to sell cannabis and would bar patients from growing their own medicine.