Medical marijuana fails in Florida vote with 57 percent support
A vote to legalize medical marijuana in Florida has failed to pass after garnering about 57 percent of the vote.
While a majority of voters approved of Amendment 2, state law requires a super-majority of support, 60 percent or higher, so the ballot initiative failed to pass.
Amendment 2 would have legalized marijuana for medical purposes in Florida. The measure proposed allowing doctors to prescribe cannabis for “debilitating medical conditions,” which the bill defined as cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, hepatitis C, HIV, AIDS, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or “other conditions for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.”
The initiative was primarily opposed by billionaire casino mogul and GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson. Adelson put $5 million toward the opposition to Amendment 2, accounting for roughly 85 percent of the total funding of the campaign to defeat the measure, according to The Washington Post.
As recently as May, support for medical marijuana was strong in Florida, reaching almost 90 percent in a Quinnipiac poll. However, that support steadily declined as the months wore on, reaching a low of 48 percent in October.
“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,” Tom Angell, Marijuana Majority chairman, said in a statement. He said patients and marijuana supporters “will keep pushing until the law reflects what most voters want.”