Efforts to getting medical marijuana legalized in Florida recently received a huge boost. Two important political fundraisers in Florida decided to get behind an effort to put medical marijuana on the ballot in 2014. From Reuters:
“I’m prepared to keep raising money and writing checks until I get the signatures to put it on the ballot,” attorney John Morgan said late on Tuesday.
Morgan, who routinely hosts presidents and national political figures at his Orlando-area home, recently signed on as chairman of People United for Medical Marijuana-Florida, a grassroots campaign that operated on a shoestring until now.
Morgan was recruited by Ben Pollara, a lobbyist and fundraiser for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. Pollara recently became treasurer of the medical marijuana campaign.
There are only two real hurdles in the way of medical marijuana in Florida.
The first is that it is very hard to get on the ballot in the state. Placing a constitutional amendment on the ballot requires roughly 680,000 valid signatures. While that is a difficult goal, it is one that can easily be overcome with enough money to fund a large campaign and hire a signature gathering operation. Having these two proven political fundraisers behind the efforts means the chances of making the ballot improved dramatically.
The second hurdle is that Florida law only allows citizens to put constitutional amendments on the ballot. Unlike many other states that only require a simple majority for victory, in Florida a constitutional ballot measure must get 60 percent of the vote to be approved. Fortunately, polling from last month found that medical marijuana currently has 70 percent support among Florida voters. If a measure qualifies for the ballot, it currently stands a good chance of getting enough votes to be adopted.
At the moment, getting medical marijuana approved in Florida next year is looking very promising.
Photo by Coaster420 under Creative Commons license