The 2014 Florida campaign for medical marijuana was a hard-fought battle. And though the fight was narrowly lost, the message was delivered: the majority of Florida voters want medical marijuana, and it’s only a matter of time before the push for legalization comes back stronger than ever.
As a result, some Florida lawmakers may consider working through the legalization process via the state legislature. The advantage to this approach is it would give lawmakers more control over the industry and its regulations from the very beginning.
Jeff Sharkey, a lobbyist who works with the Medical Marijuana Business Association of Florida, explained, “Fifty-eight percent of positive voters clearly sends a signal to them that there’s strong interest. I think they feel that in a presidential election year a lot more younger folks would come out, probably push that over the 60 percent, but I think they’re also, at the same time, interested in seeing what the Florida Legislature might do.”
Whether or not lawmakers take action on MMJ this year, advocates are regrouping and will soon begin collecting signatures for another voter initiative for 2016.
Photo Credit: David Trawin
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