Florida is thought to be one of the illegal marijuana grow capitals of the United States.
Even as Florida authorities have vigorously targeted marijuana grow operations, considerable momentum has been building to legalize medical marijuana in the sunshine state. In 2014, the issue was put to voters. Approximately 58% of Florida voters supported the idea of legalizing medical marijuana. This sounds like a resounding victory. Not quite, the vote total was just shy of the 60% needed to enact the new law.
With 58% of the vote two years ago, an electorate the will incorporate more Millennials than ever, and a universal trend across the country of growing marijuana support, it seems support in Florida is likely to increase. Recently, there have been even more signs pointing toward Florida joining the growing list of states that permit the medical use of marijuana.
Orlando decriminalized small amounts and officers now have the option of issuing a civil citation for small amounts of possession (20grams or less). The new law also gives officers discretion in offering a lower charge in cases involving paraphernalia as well.
Additionally, a recent ballot drive to put a medical marijuana vote to residents was successful in gaining approximately 693,000 signatures. The bill is known as Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, which is also known as Amendment 2. If passed, the bill would allow patients with debilitating conditions to qualify to receive a prescription from state licensed physicians.
Earlier this week over 3,000 members of the marijuana industry attended the Marijuana Business Conference and Expo in Orlando. Attorney John Morgan of the advocacy group, United For Care, spoke about the current status of marijuana in Florida. “There is no state in the union that is more ready for this industry than this state,” he said.