One early poll by PUFMM indicated medical marijuana could be a significant issue in the governor’s race and could help a candidate who embraces it. Scott is opposed.
Two PUFMM surveys from different pollsters and one by an independent group found that about seven in 10 Florida voters would likely back the type of medical-marijuana amendment proposed. It takes 60 percent voter approval to pass a Florida constitutional amendment.
“We’ve had 70 percent of Floridians in three different polls who said they support it,” Pollara said. “This is not a partisan issue, and both Democrats and Republicans have been quite cowardly with this issue.”
Pollara pointed out that a liberally funded constitutional amendment that aimed to stop partisan political gerrymandering passed in 2010 because the policy was right.
“When people go in the voting booth, they’re going to vote their candidate,” he said. “But they’re going to read our language and they’re going to vote for this because it’s good compassionate policy. It doesn’t matter if they have a D or R by their name.”
Stone said he, too, wants the policy and has the same goals to decriminalize marijuana for sick people.
But he faulted the proposed amendment because it doesn’t go far enough to explicitly allow people to grow marijuana privately. Without that provision, he said, Florida lawmakers will ignore the amendment if passed and people will struggle to get the help they need.
“Under the Morgan proposal if (when) Florida’s notoriously right wing Legislature refuses to authorize the opening of dispensaries, those who are sick or dying can … sue,” Stone wrote.
“This is truly a trial lawyer’s answer to a medical problem.”
Pollara disputed the concern: “I’m not sure Roger even read the amendment.”
Pollara pointed out that the amendment says that, if the state doesn’t act within nine months, physicians could recommend marijuana to a qualifying patient anyway. And qualifying patients, such as Bradenton-area activist Cathy Jordan, would be allowed to possess and use the drug under state law.
The amendment, however, doesn’t affect federal law, which still holds marijuana illegal. Nevertheless, 20 states have so far decriminalized marijuana, most often for medical use.