Attorney General Pam Bondi made the right call by deciding not to fight a revised constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana. The Florida Supreme Court is reviewing the new and improved wording of the amendment, and there is no reason the justices should prevent it from appearing on the 2016 ballot. Bondi, who has a bad habit of misusing the courts to score political points, set her personal opinion aside this time and took the more pragmatic approach.
Two years ago, Bondi wanted the court to kick off the ballot a similar amendment that would have legalized medical marijuana. The court only decides whether amendments are misleading and if they meet single-subject requirements. Bondi lost that argument, and the amendment received nearly 58 percent of the vote last year — just short of the 60 percent approval needed for constitutional amendments.
The revised amendment addresses the most important concerns raised by its opponents. For example, it adds new wording to address fears that teens and people with minor illnesses could get medical marijuana. It tightens the conditions under which doctors could issue certificates to get the drug, and it ensures that all current negligence and professional malpractice laws would still apply. The language is not misleading, and the court should allow the amendment to go on the ballot if the United for Care group gets all of the necessary signatures as expected.
Bondi remains opposed to medical marijuana, which is fine. But she recognizes that she was unsuccessful in keeping the amendment off the ballot two years ago and likely would not succeed in keeping the improved wording off the 2016 ballot. Let the voters decide.