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Florida Supreme Court approves medical marijuana initiative for November ballot

1:03 AM, Jan 28, 2014   |    comments
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Video: Gov. Scott, Crist weigh in on medical marijuana

Medical marijuana

 


 


TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP/WTSP) - A Florida measure that would allow the use of medical marijuana has cleared its final hurdle and will be on the November ballot.

The state Supreme Court on Monday approved the language for the proposed constitutional amendment.

The justices approved the ballot summary 4-3 just three days after a petition drive reached the required number of signatures to place the measure on the ballot. Elections supervisors have certified 710,508 signatures, more than the 683,149 needed to get on the ballot.

The proposed amendment would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for debilitating conditions.

Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi challenged the ballot summary, arguing that the language will mislead voters into allowing more widespread use of medical marijuana than they would be led to believe in the 74-word summary.

Personal injury lawyer John Morgan has spent about $4 million to place the issue before voters.

Gov. Rick Scott is opposed to medical marijuana. His Democrats challengers, state Sen. Nan Rich and former Gov. Charlie Crist, both support it.

"I have a great deal of empathy for people battling difficult diseases and I understand arguments in favor of this initiative," Gov. Scott said in a statement. "But, having seen the terrible affects of alcohol and drug abuse first-hand, I cannot endorse sending Florida down this path and I would personally vote against it. No matter my personal beliefs, however, a ballot initiative would be up to the voters to decide."

Conversely, Crist issued this statement following the Supreme Court ruling: "This is an issue of compassion, trusting doctors, and trusting the people of Florida. I will vote for it."

Nan Rich tweeted that she endorses medical marijuana and signed the petition to get it on the November ballot. "Glad voters will have a chance to end suffering & bring hope to families," she added.

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