An amendment to legalize the use of medical marijuana has passed by a wide margin, easily topping the 60% approval required for the amendment to become law.
As of 8:30 p.m., with more than 90% of Florida’s votes counted, some 71% of voters had approved Amendment 2, which makes it legal to use marijuana to treat a limited number of medical conditions. More than 6.3 million Floridians voted in favor of medical marijuana, versus just 2.5 million who voted no.
Amendment 2 explicitly allows Floridians to use marijuana to treat ten specific conditions, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, and several other diseases. The amendment also includes language allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana for treatment of other debilitating medical conditions “of the same kind or class as, or comparable to” the diseases specifically mentioned in the amendment.
Opponents have argued that medical marijuana is a first step toward decriminalization or legalization of marijuana for recreational purpose, as has happened in other states.
A similar medical marijuana initiative fell just short of the 60% threshold in 2014. The same year, state lawmakers passed the “Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act,” which allowed for access to non-smoked, low-THC marijuana for qualified patients.