Now Florida has become the largest state to reject medical marijuana, even as 23 other states and Washington, D.C., have passed some kind of law legalizing the use of medical cannabis.
On Tuesday, D.C. voters elected to make it legal for people to possess marijuana for recreational use. Oregon, meanwhile, voted to make it legal for people 21 or older to possess, manufacture, and sell marijuana.
Despite the loss, medical marijuana proponents are holding their heads up high. They fought a battle against big-money agents and a relentless campaign that was driven mostly by misinformation and fear-mongering.
United for Care's John Morgan -- the Orlando-based attorney who made it his personal crusade to get Amendment 2 passed -- looked at the bright side of things.
"We may not have passed Amendment 2 tonight, but make no mistake: Tonight was a victory in the fight for medical marijuana in Florida," Morgan said in a statement released late Tuesday night. "The idea that marijuana is medicine and that those suffering and in pain should not be made criminals received a larger share of the vote than the winner of the last six gubernatorial elections and every presidential campaign in Florida for decades."
Brian Franklin, a consultant for United for Care, echoed Morgan's sentiments:
Re: Med marijuana, we started w a list of 4500 & minimal awareness. We ended with more votes than Rick Scott and a movement (that goes on)..— Brian Franklin (@Brian_Franklin) November 5, 2014
One thing is clear: Amendment 2 wasn't close to 48 or 50 like Graham Center & Gravis had it. @TomEldon nailed it, and ours was close.— Brian Franklin (@Brian_Franklin) November 5, 2014
According to exit polls, it would seem the main issue with Amendment 2's loss came down to messaging and, as we pointed out above, demographics.