Medical marijuana ballot initiative push begins

FLORIDA: Medical marijuana supporters received final approval Wednesday from the Florida Department of State to begin collecting signatures for a ballot initiative that would enshrine doctor-approved cannabis in the state constitution.

The medical marijuana petition now has an active serial number and backers can start working toward the nearly 700,000 signatures needed by Feb. 1 to put the issue before voters in 2014.

The group pushing for a constitutional amendment hopes to send out an army of paid signature gatherers to blanket the state in search of support. Such an effort could cost upwards of $3 million.

People United for Medical Marijuana raised nearly $200,000 between January and March, with more than half coming from high-profile personal injury lawyer John Morgan. The group’s second-quarter fundraising total has yet to be reported, but campaign coordinator Ben Pollara said it will be similar to the first quarter’s total.


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