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Floridians Not Deterred by Politicians' Criticisms Over Amendment 2, Study Shows

December 6, 2016 - 5:45pm

The amendment to legalize medical marijuana received over 60 percent in every congressional and every Senate district in Florida, despite politicians' reservations over the drug, a new analysis shows.

The new precinct analysis commissioned by pro-medical group Florida for Care showed widespread support for the amendment, which legalizes medical marijuana for patients with “debilitating” conditions in the Sunshine State.

Amendment 2 passed with over the required 60 percent support in every single Congressional and Florida Senate district and in 118 of 120 Florida House districts.

The only House districts where the amendment did not reach 60 percent were HD 110 and 111, which cover parts of west Miami. 

On a county level, Amendment 2 also received over 60 percent support in a large majority of the state, reaching that number in 63 of 67 counties.

The proposal saw strong support in South Florida, where voters overwhelmingly supported it. CD22, which covers Palm Beach County, saw the highest level of support for the amendment, with 77 percent voting in favor of it.

Statewide, 71 percent of voters supported the measure.

"The breadth and consistency of these numbers across disparate and diverse parts of the state truly shows the mandate voters gave this law,” said Sean Phillippi, of TLE Analytics, the firm which conducted the poll. “Amendment 2's was not a regional or even metropolitan victory. Florida voters writ large said 'yes' to medical marijuana."

Voters were not deterred by political candidates’ criticisms of medical pot, either. In fact, in some districts, like medical marijuana district opponent Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s CD 23, voters supported Amendment 2 by a 3-1 margin, 75-25. 

That trend continued on a Senate level. The Florida Senate district with the highest support for Amendment 2, at a little over 78 percent was SD 19, now represented by Darryl Rouson, who has criticized medical marijuana in the past.

In 2014, Rouson appeared at a Sarasota Tiger Bay meeting and expressed his reservations over the amendment.

“The message is already being sent that this is a harmless drug,” said Rouson at the time.

Amendment 2 will legalize medical marijuana for patients with debilitating medical conditions which include cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, and for other conditions which a physician feels using medical marijuana would outweigh the potential health risks for a patient. 

The measure will allow for the medical use of marijuana by a qualifying patient or caregiver. It would also prohibit physicians from being subject to criminal or civil liabilities under Florida law for issuing a prescription for medical marijuana. 

Medical marijuana has technically been legal in Florida since 2014 after state lawmakers legalized the low-THC "Charlotte's Web" strain for patients with epilepsy, but its prescription numbers have been limited in Florida. 

Dispensaries began to pop up around the state over the summer. Trulieve, the first dispensary to open its doors to the public, has two medical pot shops open already and plans six more around the state in the next few months. 

When the amendment passed, People United for Medical Marijuana campaign director Ben Pollara praised the results, saying it was ushering in a new era of much-needed relief for suffering patients.

“This is a gigantic deal for the hundreds of thousands of Floridians who will benefit very, very soon,” Ben Pollara, campaign manager for People United for Medical Marijuana said in Orlando, said when the amendment passed. “This is a gigantic deal for moving medical marijuana forward, for proving that marijuana is medicine.”


Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.



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C Breeze your opinion means nothing as you spewed lies and misconceptions on Amendment 2 up until election day, then poof you disappeared. Your Quotations and all cap words are not getting a extra point across. Plus your 1950's thinking of cannabis is way too outdated for 2016. Do us all a favor and educate yourself on the subject before you decide to comment. The time i spend reading your comment is better spent taking gum off the bottom of my shoe.

To: Voted yes...while I do not always agree with C Breeze, have to think he is one of the sane ones. if you have to spend a lot of time getting gum off your shoe maybe you should be a bit more careful. Next thing you know you will fall in an open man hole cover and not be heard of again. Course, some family member probably sue whatever town it was. But it could be years before any settlement, you may have been high on pot - a mitigating factor - and maybe they would get some money or maybe they wouldn't. But you would still not be heard of again. Like Jerry.

Sane C Breeze. That's definitely something to laugh about. The guy that actually suggested in past post that "maybe women shouldn't have the right to vote". Yea that's something sane to say in 2016. He will probably deny it. But I remember cause I personally called him out on it. Like most of his ridiculous comments regarding amendment 2. Man hole cover fall, Trapper are you sure your commenting in the right article. That has absolutely nothing to do with what is being talked about. Unless you just wanted to bring up pothead and open man hole in the same sentence.

My,my,...Aren't YOU prescient "Voted yes"? But your apparent resultant anger appears to be in need of 'management', or drugs (OH, there you go, just in time !) IF YOU GOT 'EM, SMOKE 'EM ! (Those "CAPS" are specially for YOU "Voted yes"...) ["Poof", I'm baackkk ! ]

What about losing your 2nd amendment right by getting a marijuana prescription? If I knew that I wouldve never voted for it!You shouldn't lose your gun rights for pain medicine, then why would you lose it for marijuana?

REMEMBER what i've said here in the past about "UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES"; (or what Frederic Bastiat famously wrote about in his book "Things that are Seen, and Things that are Unseen"...); Politicians ALWAYS use "unintended consequences" to manipulate legislation to their own purposes...and profit. Citizens should ALWAYS consider their own votes CAREFULLY before they 'commit'.

AMEN! Like any magician performing......WATCH BOTH HANDS!

That correct Bear? Did not know that. And your premise certainly sounds right to me. Ah....the politicians.

The 2nd Amendment was a foregone conclusion. The violin playing scumsucking politicians got what they always wanted. Pot they could tax. Think back to bolita - the old numbers game. Once they figured out what the gangsters were raking in, they decided to make it legal and tax it. We now call it the lottery. The politicians care about the citizens as much as I do a love bug I squash in the windshield. As in, not at all. So what are the cops with their $2,500 SWAT outfits going to do with themselves now? I would imagine (my guess, no fact) that without pot arrests their work load will lessen dramatically. You think we will see fewer cops? While I am not particularly against the cops, I have grave doubts that their main objective is to protect and serve. Their main objective is to catch us...and they don't care what they catch us at. If they stop a cop, they let him go. If they stop a friend, they let him go. If they stop a politician, they let him go. Too many of them could not hold down a job at the chicken processing plant or Jiffy store. But, a 6 month course at a Junior college and an uncle that is friendly with the sheriff gives them a badge and gun and more authority than they would have earned in the real world in 100 years. Lets see how it plays out.

Let's be fair "Trapper": Cops "walk a fine line" doing what they are supposed to do,.. Keep The Peace. Without them, groups like "Fat lives matter"; "Ignorant lives matter"; "Tattooed lives matter"; "Cat owners live matter" (and on, and on, and on, ad infinitim..) would be "marching nightly" keeping you from sleeping safely in your bed at night. Cops do what they have ALWAYS been mandated to do since the creation of this nation, Keep the Peace (with inherent common-sense and rational discretion), "sound the alarm" re: fires, invasion, and emergencies of every other kind. Unfortunately, "along the way", petty politicians saw ( and conceived ) ways to "pad" their town, city, state, federal coffers, and their own pockets...and they redirected Cops' missions to prioritize and produce "income" (you ALL have experienced some variation of this at some point in your own lives via your driving, hunting, fishing licences; local ordinances, State laws, Federal agencies etc.). The "BOTTOM LINE" is: Cops STILL follow their original mandate to KEEP THE PEACE (whether through omnipresence or personal contact). Without them, as you are already aware, "Black Lives Matter" types can be PAID and "bussed in" to coalesce into dangerous and destructive mob groups. ALL local, State and Federal agencies are only as honorable and ethical as the "leaders" appointed to manage them, (but the "tip of the spear" is almost always functioning ethically and with honor, and proud to serve, unless corrupted "from a top layer of supervision either directing, or ignoring, problems or mandates".

Just open up dispensaries to everyone over the age of 21. For the People.

A very good example of 'changes' for old politicians to fear! GO TRUMP!! President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter (where else?) on Tuesday to rip a federal deal with Boeing for a new Air Force One , calling costs for the project “out of control.” The deal involves Boeing designing parts of a new presidential aircraft to replace the aging 1980s model currently used by the commander in chief. The government pegged the total project at about $3.2 billion, but Trump’s tweet claimed the cost would be “more than $4 billion” and that the U.S. should “cancel order!” One aviation analyst said balking at that price tag for planes that need special state-of-the-art security and technology is “completely ignorant.” The Air Force has said the current aircraft's out-of-date parts take increasingly long to repair. Trump owned Boeing shares worth $50,001 to $100,000, a May campaign financial filing showed, but a spokesman said he sold all his stock in June. In other Trump Twitter news: Telecom giant Softbank will invest $50 billion into the U.S., creating 50,000 jobs.

Good lord, get off his sack already. Although you seem to support the bill, Trump has put people in his cabinet that have strongly spoken against it. And seeing trump flip flop on almost every issue. I am very skeptical that he will support this one and let the states run their program that the people have chosen. Time will tell and hope I am wrong about my feeling.

Good piece, Allison. For many years we've followed Politicians' advice on so many issues, but, no longer, as we've become smarter voters, and so much more distrusting of career politicians and their opinions! Mr. Trump's election is more proof positive of the process now becoming known as the Voter Rebellion of 2016! Politicians Beware!

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