Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi may have strongly opposed a
medical marijuana measure on the 2014 ballot, but this time around she’s
staying in the background.
On Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, Bondi’s office acknowledged that Bondi wasn’t
commenting on whether the Supreme Court should block this year’s
version of the ballet initiative.
The proposed amendment is currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court.
At issue: whether the ballot initiative complies with single-subject requirements
and if it’s misleading.
In 2013, when a similar medical marijuana amendment was being considered,
Bondi argued that if it were to pass, it would allow the use of medical
marijuana in “limitless situations” and that doctors would be able to
approve pot for virtually any reason.
The attorney general, who pushed for the state to crack down on pill mills
and prescription drug crimes, unsuccessfully pushed the Supreme Court
to ditch the amendment from the ballot. Despite her failed attempts to
have the ballot measure cast aside, she got what she wanted when it didn’t
obtain the 60 percent threshold needed to pass.
A spokesman for Bondi, Whitney Ray, said that due to the Supreme Court’s
pending review, it wasn’t appropriate to add any further comments
about Bondi’s decision.
Medical marijuana advocates are celebrating Bondi’s new position.
However, they still need to collect nearly 684,000 signatures by February
in order for ballot initiative to be presented to voters in 2016. According
to state records, to date nearly 343, 000 signatures have been verified.
Per Ben Pollara, the campaign manager for United for Care, with the previous
amendment Bondi and other opponents filed over 200 pages of legal briefs,
but this time around nothing has been filed.
In an email to the
Tampa Tribune, Pollara said that he hopes that Tallahassee politicians and special interests
now understand what Floridians have – that marijuana helps people
and doctors should be trusted to recommend it to ill patients.
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