Sadly, it appears that Florida's medical marijuana initiative has failed to pass, according to several media reports. The 'Yes on Amendment 2' campaign did a stellar job and shouldn't hang their heads. A strong majority of Florida voters approved the medical marijuana initiative. In just about any other state the 2014 Election Day results would have been enough. But in Florida an initiative has to get at least 60% of the vote, and as a result, the initiative didn't pass.
Opponents will no doubt celebrate their 'victory.' However, I hope they know that they didn't really win. If they want to congratulate each other on getting a clear minority of votes as a result of running a highly funded campaign that was largely built on lies, by all means, go ahead. Kudos for using shady political tactics to get barely over 40% of people to agree with you. Below is a reaction from Tom Angell, the head of Marijuana Majority:
"While it's disappointing that patients in Florida won't be able to find legal relief with marijuana just yet, tonight's result does show that a clear majority of voters in the sunshine state support a new direction. We didn't get the 60% needed to pass medical marijuana as a constitutional amendment, but patients and their supporters will keep pushing until the law reflects what most voters want. The campaign this year faced several key challenges, including that it took place during a midterm election in which turnout dynamics don't favor marijuana reform. Next time medical marijuana is on the ballot, organizers should put patients and medical professionals at the forefront of the campaign rather than relying on a well-meaning but much less sympathetic political donor as the chief spokesperson."
Here's to the Florida medical marijuana 2016 campaign! Clearly a majority of Floridians want medical marijuana. It's just a matter of making one more push, learning from the previous campaign, and following thru. Had marijuana been a statewide candidate in Florida, it would have received more v0tes than any other candidate. Preparation for Election Day 2016 in Florida starts NOW! Below is also a reaction from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition:
Amendment 2, which would have protected patients and doctors from prosecution for using/recommending medical marijuana for serious medical conditions, has failed though it garnered a solid majority of votes. Covered conditions would have included cancer, AIDS, Crohn's Disease, Parkinson's "or other conditions for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient," but would not have allowed patients to operate a motor vehicle under the influence, consume marijuana in public or on the job and would not have required insurers to pay for the treatment. Unfortunately, because the initiative was for a constitutional amendment, it needed 60% to pass and looks like it will fall just short of that number.
"This is a loss for the sick, for the elderly, and for all those who care about public safety," said Special Agent Raymond Strack (Ret.), a Florida resident and spokesperson for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. "The only people who have benefitted from this election are the violent gangs who continue to make money on marijuana's prohibition."
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is a 501(c)3 nonprofit of cops, prosecutors, judges and other law enforcement officials who want to end the war on drugs.