Florida’s Amendment 2, relating to the availability of medical marijuana to patients who need it, swept the polls with a 70 to 30 split on Tuesday night’s election.
The amendment proposes to make medical marijuana legal for doctors to give out prescriptions to patients who need it.
Last time out, it got 58 percent of the vote, but because it required a “super majority” of 60 percent, it didn’t pass.
Supporters of the amendment say it’s a sensible alternative medicine and can greatly help patients in need, offering a natural alternative to drugs that may have harmful side effects, and alleviate pain for cancer patients and others suffering debilitating conditions.
Ben Pollera, campaign manager for Amendment 2, said the idea of the amendment wasn’t only about medical marijuana – it’s also about respecting the doctor-patient relationship.
“This is about taking politicians out of the doctor-patient relationship,” he said. “We’ve had a long statewide conversation about this. I believe the people of Florida are compassionate, and that they believe a decision should be made by a doctor and patient together, even if that decision includes marijuana. People trust their doctors to have the treatment that’s right for them, whether that’s dieting and exercise, narcotics and opiates or even marijuana. That decision should be made in the context of the doctor-patient relationship, not by Tallahassee politicians.”
Opponents said the amendment is a “scam” intended to legalize marijuana under the guise of doing it for medical reasons.
Tom Angell, chairman with Marijuana Majority, applauded the amendment’s passing.
“This is a major tipping point: With Florida’s decision, a majority of states in the U.S. now have laws allowing patients to find relief with medical marijuana, and these protections and programs are no longer concentrated in certain regions of the country like the West and Northeast.
“It looks like medical cannabis will get more votes tonight than whoever ends up winning the presidential and U.S. Senate races, and that shows just how mainstream this issue has become. The next president and the new Congress need to get to work right away in 2017 on modernizing federal law so medical cannabis patients and the businesses that serve them in a growing number of states don’t have to worry that the DEA could knock down their doors at any minute.”