Florida voters approve medical marijuana, reject solar energy equipment rights

Posted at 9:34 PM, Nov 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-09 10:48:32-05

It appears Florida voters will approve three of four statewide amendments on this year's election ballot measure.

Amendment 1 - Solar Energy Rights: By a close vote, Florida voters appear to have rejected a ballot measure on the use and cost of solar power in the state by a margin of 51% to 49%.

Amendment 2 - Medical Marijuana: Voters are giving a thumbs up to a state constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana, with 71% supporting the measure and 29% opposed to it. The new law would expand the limited therapeutic uses approved by the Legislature.

Passage means there are multiple conditions eligible for medical marijuana use: post-traumatic stress disorder, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, AIDS, cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and multiple sclerosis. 

A physician certified with Florida's Office of Compassionate Use can approve medical marijuana treatments for any other similar kind of ailment. 

The Department of Health is tasked with regulating how medical marijuana is distributed along with mandating identification cards for patients and caregivers. 

A similar ballot measure failed by a narrow margin in 2014. 

Six groups have been approved to grow and sell non-smoked medical marijuana in Florida.  State officials project 19 cities across the state will have dispensaries once all operations are up and running. 

The group VOTE NO on 2 issued the following statement Tuesday night: "Now that Amendment 2 has passed, the fight moves on to the Florida Legislature. The authors of Amendment 2 have long maintained that the legislature has wide discretion to regulate the implementation of Amendment 2 for health, safety and welfare of all Floridians. There, we implore the legislature to take the authors of Amendment 2 at their word by passing legislation that bans pot candy, puts a limit on THC levels, tightly defines 'other debilitating medical conditions,' and gives local communities the right to limit, restrict, and outright ban pot shops." 

Amendment 3 - Tax exemption for disabled first responders:  A ballot measure to provide tax exemption for totally and permanently disabled first responders is sailing through to passage by a margin of 84% voting yes and 16%

Amendment 5 - Homestead exemption for certain seniors and low income residents: Voters have approved a state ballot measure to give homestead exemption to certain seniors, low-income, long-term residents based on determination of  just values. The vote is 78% yes and 22% no.