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Around Orlando
               
   
           Medical Marijuana

These two words represent the changing of policy in Florida, a primarily ranked conservative state in every election since the 1970s. These two words have also given young, or first time voters a mobilizing force.
Two other amendments on the Florida ballot this year, equally as imperative for Florida’s future are amendment one, which details the expansion of Environmental agencies in the state of Florida and the third amendment which concerns the expansion of filling of judicial vacancies. All three amendments center on expansion, yet that which has the propensity to magnitize Florida voters to this year’s midterm polls is amendment no.2.
Midterm election turnout has been low nationally since 1970. Fewer Floridians cast ballots in 2010 as they did, and equally in the 2012 Presidential elections.

 Language on the Ballot
On the Nov.4 ballot, Amendment no.2 is defined as, “Allows the medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating diseases as determined by a licensed Florida physician. Allows caregivers to assist patients’ medical use of marijuana. The Department of Health shall register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue identification cards to patients and caregivers. Applies only to Florida law. Does not authorize violations of federal law or any non-medical use, possession or production of marijuana.
Meaning,the prescription of marijuana for medicinal purposes by doctors  to patients with severe illnesses will not criminalized by state law. If passed, the Florida Department of Health would be responsible for regulation of medical marijuana.
The legislation defines “debilitating condition” as multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, ALS,Crohn’s disease,Parkinson’s disease,or any other disease that the doctor would feel carries “immediate risk.”
The Florida Health Department would regulate the distribution of  patient identification cards and the development of patient to doctor transport to medical marijuana treatment centers. Amendment no.2’s language also places limitations on how medical marijuna is used and how it doesn’t tamper with previously existent legislation:
The amendment does not “affect laws relating to non-medical use, possession, production or sale of marijuana.”
The amendment does not authorize “the use of medical marijuana by anyone other than a qualifying patient.”
The amendment does not allow for the “operation of a motor vehicle, boat, or aircraft while under the influence of marijuana.”
The amendment does not require accommodations for medical marijuana use “in any place of education or employment, or of smoking medical marijuana in any public place.”
The amendment does not require “any health insurance provider or any government agency or authority to reimburse any person for expenses related to the medical use of marijuana.”
The amendment does not require “the violation of federal law or purports to give immunity under federal law.”

States that already benefit from medical marijuana are: 

Alaska

1998

Ballot Measure 8 (58%)

$25/$20

1 oz usable; 6 plants (3 mature, 3 immature)

No

2. Arizona

2010

Proposition 203 (50.13%)

$150/$75

2.5 oz usable; 0-12 plants

Yes

3. California

1996

Proposition 215 (56%)

$66/$33

8 oz usable; 6 mature or 12 immature plants

No

4. Colorado

2000

Ballot Amendment 20 (54%)

$15

2 oz usable; 6 plants (3 mature, 3 immature)

No

5. Connecticut

2012

House Bill 5389 (96-51 House, 21-13 Senate)

$100

One-month supply (exact amount to be determined)

No

6. DC

2010

Amendment Act B18-622 (13-0 vote)

$100/$25

2 oz dried; limits on other forms to be determined

No

7. Delaware

2011

Senate Bill 17 (27-14 House, 17-4 Senate)

$125

6 oz usable

No

8. Hawaii

2000

Senate Bill 862 (32-18 House; 13-12 Senate)

$25

3 oz usable; 7 plants (3 mature, 4 immature)

No

9. Illinois

2013

House Bill 1 (61-57 House; 35-21 Senate)

TBD

2.5 ounces of usable cannabis during a period of 14 days

No

10. Maine

1999

Ballot Question 2 (61%)

No fee

2.5 oz usable; 6 plants

Yes

11. Maryland

2014

House Bill 881 (125-11 House; 44-2 Senate)

TBD

30-day supply, amount to be determined

No

12. Massachusetts

2012

Ballot Question 3 (63%)

$50

60-day supply for personal medical use

unknown

13. Michigan

2008

Proposal 1 (63%)

$100/$25

2.5 oz usable; 12 plants

Yes

14. Minnesota

2014

Senate Bill 2470 (46-16 Senate; 89-40 House)

$200/$50

30-day supply of non-smokable marijuana

No

15. Montana

2004

Initiative 148 (62%)

$75

1 oz usable; 4 plants (mature); 12 seedlings

No

16. Nevada

2000

Ballot Question 9 (65%)

$100

1 oz usable; 7 plants (3 mature, 4 immature)

Yes

17. New
Hampshire

2013

House Bill 573 (284-66 House; 18-6 Senate)

TBD

Two ounces of usable cannabis during a 10-day period

Yes

18. New Jersey

2010

Senate Bill 119 (48-14 House; 25-13 Senate)

$200/$20

2 oz usable

No

19. New Mexico

2007

Senate Bill 523 (36-31 House; 32-3 Senate)

No fee

6 oz usable; 16 plants (4 mature, 12 immature)

No

20. New York

2014

Assembly Bill 6357 (117-13 Assembly; 49-10 Senate)

$50

30-day supply non-smokable marijuana

No

21. Oregon

1998

Ballot Measure 67 (55%)

$200/$60

24 oz usable; 24 plants (6 mature, 18 immature)

No

22. Rhode Island

2006

Senate Bill 0710 (52-10 House; 33-1 Senate)

$75/$10

2.5 oz usable; 12 plants

Yes

23. Vermont

2004

Senate Bill 76 (22-7) HB 645 (82-59)

$50

2 oz usable; 9 plants (2 mature, 7 immature)

No

24. Washington

1998



Proponents, Opponents and Legislation
The “Vote No on 2” campaign has spent advertising money through media to influence voters to rally against the legalization of medical marijuana, on the basis that it will lead to the legalization of marijuana for recreational usage,and Florida will follow the path of Colorado and Washington state.
Of the states that have transitioned to the  legal, recreational use of marijuana, Colorado and Washington state remain as the only two of the twenty-four. That figure accounts for only 0.08 percent of the United States that distributes legalized, recreational marijuana.
Already relevant legislation was signed into law by Florida Governor Rick Scott, Senate Bill 1030, known as Charlotte’s Web, which permits the use of a nouephoric strain of marijuana to treat epilepsy, Lou Gehrig’s disease and cancers.
          “Vote No on 2” referenced a Tampa Bay Tribune article from Sept.3 which gave way to a poll that said the majority of Florida voters remain unsure about medical marijuana on the ballot. A previous independent poll condutced by the Associated Press in late July stated that Floridans overwhelmingly supported the measure,showing eighty-eight percent of Floridians in opposition, to ten percent.

For the first time, this year’s Florida midterm elections will likely see a mobilizing, energized base among young voters. The legality of recreational marijuana will still be a debate on the local and federal level.

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