Since July, one petition has been Florida dope-smokers' great white hope. By August, People United for Medical Marijuana had already collected 100,000 signatures from people who favor medicinal weed. That milestone meant an amendment to legalize medical marijuana would appear before the Florida Supreme Court. By the latest count three days ago, the group had wrangled 200,000. If this momentum continues, the group might be able to make 683,149 by February, which would place the amendment on the 2014 ballot.
But yesterday Pam Bondi tried to derail the party train from Highaleah to Lake Smokeachobee. The Republican attorney general told the Florida Supreme Court that PUFMM's proposal was too confusing. Although medical marijuana is legal in 20 states and Washington, D.C., Bondi thinks Floridians alone are dense enough to conflate state with federal law.
She also said the proposal was too permissive and would allow for marijuana use by people who did not have a medical condition. As written, the amendment would affect people with "debilitating diseases."
The Supreme Court could quash the amendment if it buys Bondi's argument.
People United for Medical Marijuana is a grassroots campaign run by thousands of volunteers out of offices in Coral Springs and Orlando. High-powered attorney John Morgan came on board in March and helped make the amendment's language fool-proof, says Brian Franklin, a consultant for PUFMM. "We're confident the language part of the amendment meets the requirements of the state's review," he says.
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PUFMM -- which Riptide suspects is pronounced "puff 'em" -- released a statement yesterday afternoon about the AG's move. "It is not surprising that out-of-touch politicians like Pam Bondi continue to oppose compassionate health-care policy in Florida," spokesman Ben Pollara wrote. "AG Bondi wants to deny Floridians the opportunity to even vote on this issue -- despite numerous polls showing that an overwhelming majority of the state is supportive of this issue."
If the amendment ends up on the ballot, it would have to pass by a 60 percent vote. Polls show that would be the likely outcome.
Follow Allie Conti on Twitter: @allie_conti