The push is on to make Florida the next state to legalize medical marijuana. Organizers have one month to get 700,000 signatures on a petition to get the issue on the November ballot. But since state laws require that the petitions be paper petitions that are mailed in via snail mail -- not online ones -- and then validated, the petition organizing group, United for Care, is asking that all petitions come in by January 7.
United for Care is backed by megamillionaire John Morgan, who has donated $2 million to the effort. The group is working around the clock to collect enough signatures before the fast-approaching deadline passes.
The state Supreme Court has a deadline of April 1 to make a decision on whether the amendment will make it to the ballot.
Besides signing petitions in person, Florida residents are able to sign the petition and mail it in, but time is running out for this option. You must be a registered voter in Florida to sign. The downloadable form and instructions can be found HERE.
To date, nearly half the United States has legalized medical marijuana (21, plus D.C.), yet the federal government still lists cannabis as a "highly addictive" and "dangerous" Schedule 1 drug, along side heroin and LSD.
Even if the required 700,000 signatures are collected, the bill becoming a reality still could be a long shot, because, of course, politics.
"Even if the court upholds the [ballot] language and they get the required number of signatures and it passes, the Legislature still has to get involved to implement the will of the voters," Edwards said. "The bottom line is, the Legislature has to get involved at some point."
"We need to get feedback from law enforcement, prosecutors, parents, and doctors," said Matt Gaetz, chairman of the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. "I'm willing to entertain the discussion, and we'll see where it goes from there."
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 would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.