FL Supreme Court Hears Marijuana Arguments

December 20, 2013 | Print Print

In order to protect Florida’s Constitution, the Florida Chamber has a long-standing position of opposing constitutional amendments that can be handled by the legislature in statute or in the state budget. Florida’s Constitution is a foundational document meant to provide for our basic rights and organization of government. Simply put, just because trial lawyers want to legalize marijuana, we shouldn’t have misleading language on the ballot.

This year, the Florida Chamber, along with the Florida Sheriffs Association, Save our Society from Drugs and the Florida Medical Association, filed an amicus brief opposing the trial lawyer’s proposed medical marijuana amendment.

Earlier this month, the Florida Supreme Court heard arguments from both lawyers on both sides on the clarity and meaning of the ballot language proposed by trial lawyer John Morgan.

David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber, said, “Floridians are smart. They can see through language that doesn’t match intent. This is exactly what we want to avoid when we are faced with special interest groups who are trying to push constitutional amendments on the upcoming ballot.”

Sponsors of the proposed ballot measure were grilled by Supreme Court Justices who questioned whether it misleads voters about who could get prescriptions and if the amendment makes clear that pot-use still violates federal law. The Florida Chamber’s concern is that the proposed amendment is misleading and doesn’t give voters an accurate and legitimate scope of the far reaching consequences of this proposal.

“We find it ironic that plaintiff trial lawyer John Morgan, in a political attempt to legalize pot smoking, has proposed granting broad immunity to thousands from civil and criminal liability,” said Mark Wilson, President of the Florida Chamber. “Here’s his wording, ‘The medical use of marijuana by a qualifying patient or personal caregiver is not subject to criminal or civil liability… ‘A physician licensed in Florida shall not be subject to criminal or civil liability…’ Under this amendment, if someone is authorized to smoke pot by a physician, and then gets into a car accident that is their fault, the pot smoker and the physician may be granted civil and criminal immunity. That’s the crazy world trial lawyer John Morgan creates with his pot smoking amendment. If the person at fault isn’t responsible, who will the victim sue?”

The Florida Chamber will be actively tracking the progress of this amendment. In the meantime, tell us why you think this proposal is no good for Florida’s families. Find out how you can join us in protecting our constitution and our communities by contacting our Grassroots Involvement office at gblose@flchamber.com.

Be part of the solution. Learn how you can help secure Florida's future.