Orlando attorney John Morgan has been heading the fight to bring legalized medical marijuana to the state of Florida, and today the Florida Secretary of State gave final approval for the collection of petitions. Morgan has pledged to raise $3.5 million towards the effort to legalize Marijuana in the State of Florida, inclusive of money of his own that he will be donating towards the cause. If Florida legalizes marijuana for medicinal purposes, it will be the 19th state to do so in the United States, along with Washington D.C.
John Morgan had been working on vetting the forms to make sure they comply with state requirements, and upon the finalization, they were sent directly to the Florida Secretary of State for approval. In order for the measure to be put on the Florida 2014 ballot for voting, the group must collect 700,000 voter petition signatures by February 2014. A nonprofit organization was set up to facilitate the process of collecting signatures; United For Care is heading the petition drive. United For Care’s website gives the reasoning for the legalization of medicinal marijuana:
“Medical Marijuana is already providing relief and therapeutic value to residents in 18 states and the District of Columbia where laws are currently in effect, working well, and protecting both patients and doctors from arrest. A clear majority of the public and many prominent religious and medical organizations support the right of seriously ill patients to use medical marijuana without risking arrest and imprisonment.”
The Daily Chronic reported today that the forms to sign the Florida petition are already available to download online. United for Care is also asking for volunteers to help in the distribution and collection of signatures. The law would be proposed as a constitutional amendment allowing patients to use marijuana for medical reasons only. Polls show that close to ¾ of Floridian voters would support, and vote for, the legalization of medical marijuana in their state. The process is explained by the Daily Chronic:
“Once a patient receives a recommendation for medical marijuana from their doctor, they would have to obtain an identification card from the Florida Department of Health, who would be charged with administering the program and be responsible for developing ‘reasonable regulations’ for medical marijuana, including the procedures and fees for opening a dispensary in the state, as well as the amount of marijuana a patient could obtain or possess at a time.”