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Supreme Court Cancels Medical Pot Arguments

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Abe Aboraya
The Florida Channel
John Morgan holds a news conference about medical marijuana the day after amendment 2 failed to pass. United For Care's 2016 amendment was scheduled for oral arguments Tuesday.

Oral arguments over a petition to put medical marijuana in the constitution was canceled by the Florida Supreme Court Monday.

The Court is examining if a medical marijuana constitutional amendment is clear enough to be put on the ballot. 

“They canceled because nobody filed opposition to our amendment this time, versus last time when there was about 300 pages of opposition filed against us,” said Ben Pollara of United For Care, which is trying to get medical marijuana on the ballot.

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office said in a statement it didn’t challenge the current amendment, but is concerned the ballot would expand the use of marijuana in Florida, particularly among youth.

“In 2014, the Florida Supreme Court approved a similar version of this amendment,” wrote Whitney Ray, spokesman for the attorney general’s office. “Attorney General Pam Bondi fought that language because she believed that legally the proposed language was insufficient under Florida’s Constitution. Attorney General Bondi encouraged all Floridians to review the amendment carefully as she believed it would vastly expand the use of marijuana in Florida, especially among our youth.”

The Florida Supreme Court will make that decision in-house. United For Care hopes to have enough signatures by the end of the year to get on the 2016 ballot.

Abe Aboraya is a reporter for WMFEin Orlando. WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.