Prominent attorney John Morgan spearheaded the medical marijuana effort in Florida during the 2014 Election. He almost succeeded, along with the United for Care team, as Amendment 2 lost by just two percent. And to be clear, that wasn't 48% of the vote, it was 58% of the vote. Florida requires 60% voter approval for a constitutional amendment initiative to pass. The initiative received more votes than any candidate on the same ballot in Florida.
John Morgan, who largely funded the 2014 effort, promised that he would be back for 2016 to try again. Yesterday, he made good on that promise by filing another initiative for 2016. He says that the initiative differs from the last one in four ways, per the Tampa Bay Times:
Morgan said the revised amendment, to be posted later today on the secretary of state's web site, make four significant changes to the original version:
* Adds clarifying language that the Department of Health must verify parental consent before a doctor proscribes marijuana to a minor
* Clarifies which debilitating conditions are eligible and rules out all non-debilitating conditions
* Clarifies that doctors who proscribe marijuana cannot be arrested for proscribing marijuana but they are not immune to prosecution for negligence or malpractice
* Clarifies that the Department of Health must establish quality standards for caregivers.
John Morgan seems to have learned a lot from his first attempt at legalizing medical marijuana in Florida. The main tweaks that he needs to make, in my opinion and other veteran activists, is not so much with the language of the initiative, as much as with the campaign strategy pursued. This next campaign needs to use medical marijuana patient Cathy Jordan and federal medical marijuana patient Irv Rosenfeld early and often. I would also like to see Robert Platshorn utilized much more than the last campaign, as he can get the senior vote, which is vital to success in Florida in 2016.