(Note from Erin: As you most of you know, I’ve been a Florida resident since 2004 and worked so hard on this measure for the last year. Finally! We prevailed!)

On November 8th, Florida voters decided to approve a medical marijuana proposal that was narrowly defeated just two years ago. With just 66 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press declared Amendment 2 passed with 71 percent support (Constitutional amendments require 60 percent support to win in Florida). All our hard work has paid off.

Two years ago a similar amendment only earned 58 percent of the vote (just shy of the 60 percent threshold) and there was strong opposition; Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnate and GOP donor funneled multi-million dollar donations in to defeat the measure- $5.5 million to be exact. But this year he only spent $1.5 million in Florida, although he spent several million in other states for the same goal.

From the article:

“Still, the Florida amendment has the potential to be one of the more permissive medical marijuana regimes in the nation. In addition to diseases like HIV, cancer and PTSD, the measure also allows doctors to recommend medical pot for “other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated, and for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.” While the 2014 measure allowed doctors to prescribe marijuana for any illness they believed it would be useful for, the new measure requires they show the illness is severe — though the wording gives physicians considerable leeway in determining which conditions would meet those criteria.”

Thanks to the passage of Amendment 2, Florida will become the first southern state to have a robust medical marijuana regime.

While medical marijuana is already legal in 25 other states and the District of Columbia, Arkansas and North Dakota also voted on the issue. And voters in five other states (Massachusetts, Maine, California, Nevada and Arizona) considered whether or not to legalize recreational marijuana. These are exciting times.

Source: South China Morning Post