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Medical Marijuana Could Be Big Election Winner in Florida

Tallahassee, FL – While many of the big races are too close to call, experts say the big winner this election cycle in Florida and in many other parts of the country will likely be marijuana. Right now, Florida doctors can only prescribe medical marijuana to cancer patients or those with chronic seizures and muscle spasms. 

     The Amendments

But Amendment Two, which polls predict will pass by a large margin, would expand the list to include post-traumatic stress disorder, epilepsy, HIV, AIDS, ALS, Parkinson's disease, Crohn's disease, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis. 

Ben Pollara, campaign measure with United for Care, a group backing the amendment, says he believes the time is right to pass the measure.

"Certainly the United States as a whole is moving forward on the issue of marijuana reform and particularly medical marijuana, but then I think we've been talking about this and having kind of a statewide dialogue on medical marijuana for almost four years now," he explained. 

Two years ago, the measure just failed to get the required 60 percent of the vote needed for a constitutional amendment. Medical marijuana initiatives are on the ballot in five states including Florida this year, while voters in five other states will decide whether or not to legalize the recreational use of pot.

While the measure still has its opponents, including some who fear the language is too vague and could lead to rampant abuse, the resistance seems to have died down from groups such as the Florida Sheriffs Association, which was outspoken against the issue two years ago. Pollara says he's not surprised.

"In the last year, year and a half, there's also been this movement at the city and county level of making the possession of small amounts of marijuana by adults a ticket versus an arrestable offense," he said. "It's an acknowledgment by elected officials, by law enforcement, that marijuana is not the worst thing in the world."

Experts believe that if a majority of these ballot initiatives pass, particularly California's proposal to legalize recreational pot, it would put pressure on the federal government to reconsider its marijuana policy.

Images added by the Observer

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