The first steps towards the possibility of legalizing medical marijuana in Florida are underway. Last month State Rep. Jeff Session, a Democrat from Lake Worth, introduced a resolution that would allow Floridians to vote on the matter in 2012. Now, state Sen. Larcenia Bullard, a Miami Democrat, has stepped up to sponsor the bill in the Senate.
"That's a compassion issue," Sessions said while introducing the bill in October. "It's a issue of people in this state that are going through tough times and a lot of physical pain and if they want to use this particular drug as opposed to a more heavy prescription narcotic I don't think there's any reason why we shouldn't let them."
The bill still has a long way to go before coming before voters. The referendum would have to pass both the House and Senate by 3/5th majorities before it goes to ballot before the people. That could prove a difficult task in Florida's heavily Republican controlled Legislature.
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Sixty percent of voters would then have to vote in favor of the amendment. A poll earlier this year found that 57 percent of Floridians are in favor of medical marijuana.
A medical marijuana amendment could still come up to vote, though, even if this particular measure dies in the legislature. People United for Medical Marijuana is collecting signatures to put a similar amendment on the ballot.