Secretary of State Ken Detzner certified the initiative for medical marijuana on Jan. 26 to be on the 2016 ballot in Florida as Amendment 2.
The amendment created by citizens received 716,270 valid signatures, well above the 683,149 required to be on the ballot.
Florida attorney and activist, John Morgan is the chairman of United For Care, an organization dedicated to getting medical marijuana approved in Florida for those suffering from debilitating illnesses.
Morgan has donated millions of dollars between 2014 and 2016 in efforts to legalize medical marijuana.
In 2014 he succeeded in getting Amendment 2 on the ballot, but not enough voters supported the cause. Morgan promises that he will switch from appealing to young people and on to more adults and seniors who may be sympathetic to those who could benefit from medical marijuana.
Morgan supports medical marijuana because his brother is a quadriplegic who uses marijuana to control his muscle spasms. According to Gary Stein with Huffpost Miami, when Morgan’s brother Tim tried marijuana for the first time his pain eased up.
“It was almost instantaneous," Morgan said, referring to the relief of pain.
Medical studies show that medical marijuana helps patients suffering with HIV/AIDS, cancer and chemotherapy, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy to name a few. Allowing the drug through prescription use could help with nausea, appetite loss, pain and anxiety.
Asa Porter, a third-year business administration student from Chicago, Ill. believes marijuana is helpful for health issues.
“I believe medical marijuana should be legalized because it helps the chemo and radiation for cancer,” Porter said.
As someone who has beaten cancer, Porter knows firsthand how painful that process can be.
Legalizing marijuana could also protect both patients and doctors from arrests, as well as the many black men arrested each year for a small possession of the drug.
In 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union reported that Florida had the third-highest number of marijuana arrests in the nation. A total of 57,951 people were arrested in Florida for possessing marijuana that year.
The report also found that black people are arrested for marijuana possession at more than four times the rate of white people. Black people accounted for 46 percent of Florida marijuana possession arrests in 2010, even though census data shows that they made up only about 16 percent of the state population.
“There’s a lot of kids in jail over 10 dime bags of weed,” Kiah Moorehead, a fourth-year pre-physical therapy student from Tampa said. He believes that marijuana should be legalized for medical and recreational use.
Ciara Carr, fourth-year cardiopulmonary science student from Tampa, said that she agrees with medical marijuana being on the ballot in November as well.
“Prescription drugs have many different side effects that are intolerable for a lot of people, and some drugs just do not work for certain people,” Carr said.
She feels as though medical marijuana could be a great alternative, and that the government should not discredit its potential benefits.
For more information for “YesOn2,” visit http://www.unitedforcare.org/.