Tallahassee, Florida — In accordance with state law, the Attorney General’s Office on October 24, 2013, petitioned the Florida Supreme Court for an advisory opinion on the validity of a proposed constitutional amendment regarding medical marijuana. Florida law requires that proposals be presented fairly and accurately. The petition filed by the Attorney General’s Office outlines concerns that the medical marijuana proposal does not meet this legal standard.
Attorney General Pam Bondi drafted a letter to Chief Justice Polston and Justices on October 24, 2013.
A political committee called People United for Medical Marijuana has sponsored an initiative petition to amend the Florida Constitution. On September 26, 2013, the Attorney General’s Office received the initiative petition from the Secretary of State, along with a certification the sponsor obtained sufficient signatures to initiate the courts review.
The Attorney General’s Office says when asked to amend our Constitution, Florida voters deserve full disclosure. Floridians deserve proposals presented accurately and fairly, proposals that allow “an intelligent and informed vote.” Some proposals, though, use “wording techniques in an attempt to persuade voters.” These techniques can hide an amendment’s true meaning, and when they “render a ballot title and summary deceptive or misleading to voters, the law requires that such proposal be removed from the ballot regardless of the substantive merit of the proposed changes.
Bondi Says in this case, the Sponsor has presented its proposal in a way that does not convey its “true meaning and ramifications “but the Sponsor has obscured the most fundamental issue underlying its proposal; the nature and scope of marijuana use that the amendment would allow. The ballot title and summary suggest that the amendment would allow medical marijuana in narrow, defined circumstances, and only for patients with “debilitating diseases.” But if the amendment passed, Florida law would allow marijuana in limitless situations. Any physician could approve marijuana for seemingly any reason, to any person, of any age – including those without any “debilitating diseases.” So long as a physician held the opinion that the drug use “would likely outweigh” the risks, Florida would be powerless to stop it.
The letter was also served to John Morgan, Chairperson People United for Medical Marijuana.
Attorney John Morgan of Morgan & Morgan is representing the pro-medical marijuana group pushing for the initiative. He contends that the Legislature would oversee sales of cannabis through a joint process of licensing and regulations.
Legalizing marijuana is on the political agenda for Former Governor Charlie Crist. Charlie Crist an attorney with the Morgan and Morgan Law Firm, he plans to run for Governor during the 2016 election.
Florida Ag stands firm on their feeling that supporters want to legalize marijuana for more reasons than just that of a medical use. Charlie Crist denies it is for his political agenda.