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Medical Marijuana A Political Tool

Samples of medical marijuana shown on display
Wikimedia Commons
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The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Backed by more than 700,000 valid signatures, a constitutional amendment legalizing the use of medical marijuana is a step away from appearing on Florida's Nov. 4 ballot, according to The Tampa Tribune.

But that final step – approval of the ballot's wording by the Florida Supreme Court – is significant, as it’s being challenged by Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Bondi, a Republican running for re-election, claims the amendment is written to allow for the indiscriminate use of marijuana. Some Democrats say Bondi’s attempt to block the initiative from the ballot is an effort by the GOP to keep young, liberal voters away from the polls come November, The Tribune reports.

Republicans, on the other hand, accuse gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist and other Democrats of using the amendment to entice potential voters to participate in an election they may otherwise have ignored.

On non-presidential election years like this one, a considerable drop in voter turnout is common. Those that do make it to the polls tend to be conservative, The Tribune reported. Political strategists say marijuana initiatives traditionally draw out mostly supporters, whereas other social questions posed on ballots usually bring out voters on both sides of the issue.

 

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.