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Vast Majority Now Favor Medical Marijuana in Florida

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medical-marijuanaAccording to a recent Quinnipiac Poll almost 85% of Floridians now would vote to legalize the use of medical marijuana in Florida. This is good news for the various Florida marijuana voter initiatives currently gathering signatures in Florida (especially UnitedforCare.org, whose constitutional petition narrowly missed voter approval in 2014 and who is currently gathering signatures to qualify for the 2016 Florida ballot). The same poll also found that  a bare majority of voters would also support the legalization of the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. These polls may put pressure on, or give cover to, a Florida legislature that is currently considering several new marijuana bills up for passage in the legislative session that begins in January, 2016. Either way, it does seem likely that some additional form of at least medical marijuana will be available to Florida citizens more broadly by late 2016 or early 2017, at the latest. (Current Florida law would allow for the use of medical marijuana by those who have cancer, seizures, or similar disorders, but that 2014 law has been mired in legal challenges and the state has yet to pick the first five dispensaries allowed here by law, although a licensure decision for the dispensaries is expected fairly shortly. However, the dispensary decisions are also likely to be met with additional legal challenges by those applicants not awarded a dispensary license.) Even if Florida marijuana law changes in 2016 or 2017, however, it would still see be some months before the reality of Florida marijuana would change here since the legislature and regulators would still need to pass laws implementing either the new laws or new constitutional amendments. It is projected by regulators that the legal infrastructure would not be in place for almost another year. This means that it would likely be well into 2017 before Florida marijuana purchases could be made legally (within the appropriate legal parameters).

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