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Medical Marijuana Backers Court Lawmakers, Investors

The medical marijuana amendment failed at the polls during last month's election. But that doesn't mean marijuana campaigners have given up.

The Florida for Care Winter Conference takes place Wednesday in Miami at the downtown Intercontinental Hotel. Organizer Ben Pollara said lawmakers will be among the attendees at the all-day conference, which has a two-track agenda for legalizing marijuana as medicine. 

"Number one, asking the legislature to serve the will of their constituents and actually pass a medical marijuana law in the next legislative session," Pollara said. "But also preparing for the eventuality that they won't do that, then we'll have to go back on the ballot in 2016."

Pollara said he expects Florida lawmakers to file medical marijuana bills for the Florida Legislature to consider during the session that starts March 3. 

If that doesn't work, preparing for another ballot initiative in 2016. In any case, Pollara said, voters and investors are ready for medical marijuana.

"There are good credible businesses out there and entrepreneurs here who are looking for the opportunity to do well by doing good and potentially serve a pretty substantial base of sick and suffering Floridians who are looking for this medicine," Pollara said. 

Amendment Two needed 60 percent support to pass. It missed by just two points, and Pollara said the 58 percent it won was greater than the total for any human candidate on the ballot.

The registration fee for the conference is $175, and Pollara said the news media will not be allowed in.