Florida has a low-THC marijuana law on the books and narrowly rejected a constitutional amendment allowing broader medical use last year. But Florida lawmakers are gearing up for further debate in the coming session.
Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) filed a medical marijuana bill Monday, expanding on last year’s so-called Charlotte’s Web law. Brandes says it also addresses perceived shortcomings in the unsuccessful Amendment 2, but it’s important for the issue to go before the Legislature rather than be decided through the initiative process.
The organization pushing for medical marijuana in Florida got a new ballot initiative approved by the Secretary of State Friday. United for Care believes their new proposal will succeed where last year’s Amendment Two failed.
Florida’s plans allowing certain patients to use low-THC marijuana are in limbo after a recent court ruling. An administrative judge threw out many of the Department of Health’s proposed rules Friday.
Florida’s so-called Charlotte’s Web law directs the Department to have a distribution framework in place by January 1 next year. But Florida Medical Cannabis Association Lobbyist Ron Watson says after Friday’s ruling, the chances of meeting that deadline are increasingly slim.
There’s been more than a little grumbling from some quarters about Amendment Two failing to pass despite garnering support from the majority of voters. But there are some pretty good reasons for requiring a supermajority.
Back in 2006, Florida voters passed a measure called Amendment 3. It raised the threshold for passing ballot initiatives in all future elections from the simple majority of 50 percent-plus-one to supermajority of 60 percent. Supporters at the time argued the ballot initiative process was being taken over by special interests.