Florida likes weed — well, mostly, says a newly released Quinnipiac University poll. A whopping 82 percent of the state said that they supported legalization of medical marijuana in Florida, while 48 percent supported legalization of weed in general — just a little more than the 46 percent that opposed recreational pot use. The results come just one week after a Huffington Post poll revealed that 51 percent of the test subjects opposed firing an employee for after-hours marijuana use. Mary Jane, you may not be Queen Bee, but at least in Florida, you're a rising star.
One year ago, Colorado and Washington passed referendums that allowed the recreational use of marijuana. Almost exactly one year later this month, Maine and Michigan followed their lead, with Colorado also voting to tax legal marijuana and Washington legalizing marijuana sales. Now the pro-pot contingent is crossing their fingers that Florida come next — only Dec. 5 will tell, which is when the Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments over a newly proposed 2014 amendment to legalize medical marijuana.
Don't think that this Florida milestone was that easily won — at the end of October, Florida Republicans attempted to block the amendment, stating the amendment would "mislead" voters. And even then, simply because a state passes a law legalizing marijuana doesn't cancel out the fact that marijuana is still illegal by federal law. It doesn't cancel out the fact that cities can still impose their own limits, such as banning marijuana shops. Just this morning, medical marijuana shops in Colorado were raided by several federal agencies. We're still a long haul from achieving the freedom to inhale the sweet, skunky scent of weed, for medical reasons or otherwise.
Even if the Florida Supreme Court does allow the proposed amendment to go forward, United for Care, the organization supporting the amendment, will still have to reach 683,149 voter signatures by Feb. 1, 2014 to get it onto the 2014 General Election Ballot. As of Nov. 13, it had 125,000 verified signatures.
If you're a Florida citizen and you're keen to legalize medical marijuana, you can fill in a petition here. And cross your fingers if/when the epic moment arrives.