Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bondi challenges marijuana ballot proposal

Pam Bondi wrote a letter opposing the marijuana initiative.

Pam Bondi wrote a letter opposing the marijuana initiative.

TALLAHASSEE — Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is contesting a proposed ballot initiative for a medical marijuana constitutional amendment and has asked the Florida Supreme Court for an opinion.

Bondi contends the proposal from People United for Medical Marijuana, a group led by high-profile attorney John Morgan, is misleading the public and is presented in a way that does not convey its "true meaning and ramifications."

Bondi is required by law to send a ballot initiative to the state Supreme Court for review within 30 days after it's submitted to her office. The proposal, she wrote in a letter filed Thursday to the court, implies that the amendment would allow medical marijuana in narrow, defined circumstances and only for patients for "debilitating diseases." But Bondi says that if the amendment passes, "Florida law would allow marijuana in limitless situations."

She also states that the amendment would call for the legal use of medical marijuana even though federal law still prohibits it.

Morgan argues that if the state legalized medical marijuana, the governor and Legislature would still oversee licensing and regulations.

He said the proposal, being circulated in a statewide petition drive, includes language the public wants.

"They don't want California," said Morgan. "They want medical doctors (to prescribe medical marijuana) and they want alternatives to pill mills" and painkillers that cause thousands of deaths, he said.

The proposal includes several medical conditions under the term "debilitating medical conditions," including cancer, glaucoma and Parkinson's as well as "other conditions" when a physician believes "that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient."

Morgan said the proposal was drafted by Jon Mills, former dean of the University of Florida law school, a specialist in state constitutional law.

"The Republican Party in the state of Florida is petrified about this amendment because they know that 77 percent of Florida wants it," Morgan said.

In early October, Morgan wrote on his company website that Public Policy Polling found that 62 percent of voters supported the legalization of medical marijuana for seriously ill patients in Florida.

"It gets stronger every day," he said.

People United for Medical Marijuana has collected 200,000 signatures supporting the amendment.

The campaign will need 700,000 signatures, but more realistically 1 million in case any are invalid, Morgan said.

Bondi challenges marijuana ballot proposal 10/24/13 [Last modified: Friday, October 25, 2013 12:15am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay small businesses give Tampa B+ for regulatory climate

    Corporate

    In a recent survey about small business sentiments toward state and local government policies that affect them, Tampa Bay ranked at No. 25 out of 80 — a B+ overall.

    Tampa Bay ranked No. 25 out of 80 in a recent survey about how small business owners feel about state and local government policies that affect them. | [Times file photo]
  2. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  3. Seminole Heights murders: fear and warnings, but no answers

    Crime

    TAMPA — Interim Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan elicited loud gasps from the crowd of about 400 who showed up at Edison Elementary School on Monday night to learn more about the string of unsolved killings that have left the southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood gripped by fear.

    Kimberly Overman, left, comforts Angelique Dupree, center, as she spoke about the death of her nephew Benjamin Mitchell, 22, last week in Seminole Heights. The Tampa Police Department held a town hall meeting Monday night where concerned residents hoped to learn more about the investigation into the three shooting deaths over 11 days in southeast Seminole Heights. But police could give the crowd at Edison Elementary School few answers. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  4. Juvenile justice reform seen as help for teen car theft problem

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations has decided to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year.

    One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations, Faith & Action for Strength Together (FAST), voted Monday night to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year. FAST believes civil citations could help Pinellas County?€™s teen car theft epidemic by keeping children out of the juvenile justice system for minor offenses. [ZACHARY T. SAMPSON  |  Times]
  5. U.S. general lays out Niger attack details; questions remain (w/video)

    War

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Special Forces unit ambushed by Islamic militants in Niger didn't call for help until an hour into their first contact with the enemy, the top U.S. general said Monday, as he tried to clear up some of the murky details of the assault that killed four American troops and has triggered a nasty …

    Gen. Joseph Dunford said much is still unclear about the ambush.