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Attorney General Wants Florida Supreme Court To Bump Off Medical Marijuana Referendum

| October 25, 2013

A pro-legalization flag-waver. (MaxVT)

A pro-legalization flag-waver. (MaxVT)

Attorney General Pam Bondi on Thursday asked the Florida Supreme Court to block a vote on a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow medical marijuana, becoming the highest-profile official to take on the ballot initiative.

In a filing required because the group pushing the initiative has triggered an automatic review by the high court, Bondi wrote that the ballot language could deceive voters about the extent of marijuana use that would be allowed.

Bondi said the ballot summary written by United for Care: People United for Medical Marijuana wrongly suggests that only people with “debilitating diseases” could get the leafy green substance.

“But if the amendment passed, Florida law would allow marijuana in limitless situations,” she wrote. “Any physician could approve marijuana for seemingly any reason to seemingly any person (of any age) — including those without any ‘debilitating disease.’ So long as a physician held the opinion that the drug use ‘would likely outweigh’ the risks, Florida would be powerless to stop it.”

The ballot language also suggests the amendment is not in conflict with federal law, which still prohibits the use of marijuana, Bondi said.

Official state estimates have not painted the likely marijuana use under the law in the sweeping terms that Bondi’s filing suggests would be possible.

Health officials have estimated that 1.6 million Floridians would be eligible for medical marijuana, according to information provided to state economists. But somewhere between 175,000 and 450,000 would probably take advantage of the measure.

The push for allowing pot to be used for medicinal purposes in Florida has received a boost from John Morgan, a prominent Orlando trial lawyer and Democratic contributor. Morgan has already recorded a radio ad urging Floridians to approve the amendment “for the really sick people.” Elections officials say the measure has received 111,940 valid signatures — more than enough to trigger Supreme Court review.

Supporters of the initiative would need to gather 683,149 valid signatures by Feb. 1 to put the amendment before voters in the November elections.

Ben Pollara, the campaign manager for United for Care, blasted Bondi’s filing in statement issued Thursday.

“It is not surprising that out of touch Tallahassee politicians like Pam Bondi continue to oppose compassionate health care policy in Florida,” Pollara said. “Just as politicians in the Florida Legislature refused to even give medical marijuana a hearing in the 2013 session, AG Bondi wants to deny Floridians the opportunity to even vote on this issue — despite numerous polls showing that an overwhelming majority of the state is supportive of the issue.”

Pollara also sent out a fundraising email based on the filing.

–Brandon Larrabee, News Service of Florida

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14 Responses for “Attorney General Wants Florida Supreme Court To Bump Off Medical Marijuana Referendum”

  1. Reaganomicon says:

    Hmm, maybe the referendum is getting in the way of another political fundraiser.

  2. zimmerman was never guilty! says:

    legalize it!

  3. JG says:

    Whatever happened to that Libertarian aspect of the Republican Party’s philosophy?

  4. Donna De Poalo says:

    Legalize it and MOVE on. I cannot believe in 2013 this is still a discussion. Goodness.

  5. Reaganomicon says:

    Also, let me post this hilarious excerpt from the above article:

    ‘“But if the amendment passed, Florida law would allow marijuana in limitless situations,” she wrote. “Any physician could approve marijuana for seemingly any reason to seemingly any person (of any age) — including those without any ‘debilitating disease.’ So long as a physician held the opinion that the drug use ‘would likely outweigh’ the risks, Florida would be powerless to stop it.’

    Well Pam, my understanding is that you have a JD, not a MD. Perhaps you should let doctors make decisions about their patients and instead stick to what you know, which is shirking ethics for campaign contributions.

  6. Rick says:

    Bondi once again proves that politicians really don’t give a rat’s rear about the public, once they’re elected & comfortably in office. Unhealthy & suffering ones no less. What a surprise…………not!

  7. Ron says:

    C’mon Pam… lighten up.

  8. ThreeEighty says:

    Democrat or Republican, this is an issue I see both parties agreeing on more than anything else. Agreed, legalize it and move on to a real issue.

  9. Mitch says:

    Florida’s sick and disabled NEED some type of pain reliever medicine since the state has all but EXTERMINATED the dreaded “Pain Pill” mills and doctors who prescribed them. Were do I sign up for LEGALIZATION of MARIJUANA….Its Time FLORIDA !!!!

  10. Bob Z. says:

    If you are for it and have not submitted your signature please do so on the United for Care site…I did.

  11. FL copper says:

    I work in law enforcement and would much rather see medical marijuana legalized than some of the medications that are out there now. Pain pills are the new crack and are killing people at an alarming rate.

  12. Will says:

    One more reason NOT to re-elect Bondi next year.

  13. DOWNTOWN says:

    Pot can be found about as easy as it is to find gas for your car. People who want pot can get it with little effort. The only ones that are being denied are those that are life long law abiding citizens that would never think of buying pot because that would be breaking the law.
    There are studies conducted by Doctors, Phd’s, Universities, etc. that have proven that the use of pot is good medicine. Excellent for cancer patients, those that suffer form PTSD, and a host of other medical problems. Check out.http://www.salem-news.com/articles/december032008/leveque_vid_12-3-08.php. Also read http://rxmarijuana.com/shared.htm

  14. John says:

    Bondi is doing the right thing. Drugs are destroying our culture. http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana

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