Medical Marijuana Advocates Making Strides as Supreme Court Ponders a Ruling

According to campaign-finance reports for November, lawyer and pro-medical marijuana advocate John Morgan has put more than $500 grand into the People United for Medical Marijuana campaign.

All told, he's put in about $972,125, bringing this thing almost to a cool million.

Meanwhile, United for Care is launching its "day of action" this weekend, looking to collect more signatures from Floridians, all while the Florida Supreme Court ponders the language in the ballot and whether to allow the state to choose if medical marijuana should be legalized.

See also: Medical Marijuana Petitions Head to Supreme Court

On Thursday, United for Care sent an email to supporters and volunteers, announcing its plan to rally together on Saturday to help collect more signatures as a deadline looms.

United for Care is hitting the streets in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach -- as well as Miami, Orlando, Naples, Tampa, Jacksonville, and Deland -- to collect petitions.

In total, the group needs 683,149 John Hancocks to be able to have a proposal on the November ballot.

According to campaign manager Ben Pollara, the group has collected about 600,000 signatures so far.

With the holidays looming, the group is stepping up its efforts this weekend with a goal of collecting 90,000 signatures.

The campaign is sponsored by Morgan, a big-time Democratic fundraiser and Charlie Crist backer.

Morgan has also been bombarding the state with ads talking up the benefits of medical marijuana. His father and brother had suffered from cancer and injuries and found relief in marijuana for medicinal purposes. So Morgan's push is a personal one.

Meanwhile, the group is receiving pushback from the usual suspects in government.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has been looking for a way to derail the movement as the petition heads to the Florida Supreme Court.

Back in October, Bondi wrote that "if the amendment passed, Florida law would allow marijuana in limitless situations." Any physician could approve marijuana for seemingly any reason to seemingly any person (of any age) -- including those without any "debilitating disease."

This is the same Bondi who has been on a quest to have a federal court strike down a law that prohibits the sale of handguns by federally licensed dealers to people aged 18 through 20.

This is what the Florida Supreme Court is ruling on: the language. And that is pretty much what is deciding the fate of Floridians who could seriously benefit from medical marijuana.

United for Care simply wants to give voters the choice. Its fight is to have the people decide in November if medical pot should be legal in Florida.

The latest poll showed that 70 percent of Floridians would say yes to that.

The Supreme Court has until April 1 to make its ruling.

Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph. Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph