United for Care restarts campaign to legalize medical marijuana

By JOHN HOWELL The Daily Fray
April 28, 2015 10:04 pm

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A medical marijuana supporter spreads the Amendment 2 message before a debate last year in Bradenton. (Daily Fray photo)

Minutes after Florida’s legislative session abruptly ended Tuesday, advocates for medical marijuana jumped on a new campaign to forge a 2016 constitutional amendment.

Scores of bills were left unfinished in an unprecedented stalemate, including a long-shot proposal to legalize medical cannabis. “I never had much faith in Tallahassee to do the right thing,” attorney John Morgan said.

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John Morgan, head of United for Care.

Morgan’s United for Care led last year’s Amendment 2 effort to legalize medical marijuana, falling short by 2 percentage points. Charlotte's Web, a non-euphoric form of medical marijuana, was signed into law last year but regulations are tied up in lawsuits.

United for Care took less than 45 minutes after the shutdown to announce a new voter initiative.

“The House of Representatives decided to simply quit work, three days before the end of session, and with that, medical marijuana legislation is dead,” United for Care campaign manager Ben Pollara said in a statement. “Nearly 3.4 million Floridians voted yes for medical marijuana but the House simply quit. Medical marijuana will be on the ballot in 2016.”

Morgan filed a revised Amendment 2 in January then hit the pause button when medical marijuana bills were introduced in the House and Senate.

"I continue to have tremendous faith in the compassion of the people of Florida to do what the politicians refused to," Morgan said in a statement. "Today marks the first day of the 2016 campaign for medical marijuana."

United for Care also emailed supporters seeking financial support.

“We must again get almost 700,000 petitions signed and validated. But this time, we have more months to do it, a better informed populace, and momentum,” Pollara said.

 


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