Just when the grass was starting to look greener on the side of supporters for Florida marijuana legalization, Pam Bondi stepped in. The state's attorney general has been a longtime naysayer regarding the statewide push for a prescription weed amendment. Last week, Bondi took the first legal step toward swatting the movement by appealing to the state Supreme Court.
Right now, United for Care, the group behind the petition to get the issue on the ballot, must scrounge up 700,000 signatures by next February. Bondi's challenge, filed last week, asks the court to examine the wording of the proposed amendment, and if the court agrees with her claims, supporters would be back to square one; i.e., screwed.
Bondi argues that the proposal is really just a Trojan horse for full-on legalization. The language is too vague about what conditions doctors can treat with prescription marijuana, the argument follows.
"The proposal at issue does not give voters the full disclosure they deserve and the Constitution demands. The proposal hides the fact that the Amendment would make Florida one of the most lenient medical-marijuana states, allowing use for limitless 'other conditions' specified by any physician," a statement last week from the attorney general said.
"With no 'condition' off limits, physicians could authorize marijuana for anything, any time, to anyone, of any age."
What they're saying is that you shouldn't be able to get that glaucoma treatment you've always wanted.
This appears to be the party line. The general counsels for both the Republican-controlled Florida House and Senate both filed briefs with the Supreme Court echoing Bondi's concerns.
On the other side of the issue, United for Care this week fired back with a statement about "out of touch Tallahassee politicians" who "opposed compassionate heath care policy in Florida." The Supreme Court will listen to arguments about the wording at a December 5 hearing.
So how do you, the people, feel about all of this? Previous polling showed 70 percent of the state was in favor of legalization for medical treatment. Just last Election Day in Miami Beach, more voters marked their support for decriminalization than for the mayoral race winner, Philip Levine.
Send your story tips to the author, Kyle Swenson.