Just minutes ago, the Florida Supreme Court issued their ruling on what is commonly referred to as the “John Morgan Marijuana Amendment.” The Florida Supreme Court ruled the initiative petition, ballot title and summary satisfy the legal requirement and is therefore constitutional, which means the amendment can be placed on the 2016 ballot, providing other requirements are met.
The amendment “Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions” still must reach the threshold of 683,149 verified signatures from 14 of Florida’s congressional district by February 1, 2016. Currently, the effort has 400,032 of those verified signatures; however, they have reached their quota in only three congressional districts.
The significance of having this amendment on the 2016 ballot is huge. Our polling shows this amendment will most likely pass as Florida voters are compassionate about this issue and want people with debilitating diseases to have relief. And when we dissect the crosstabs, we find voters between the ages of 18-29, those over 65 and Democrats are most likely to vote for this amendment.
Let’s face it; Florida is the gateway to the White House. In presidential election years, voter turnout is approximately 25 percent higher than in non-presidential years, increasing from 45 percent to more than 70 percent. In the past, the younger voters have needed a reason to go to the polls. What better reason in a presidential year to turn out the younger voters and increase the 65+ voters than to have a constitutional amendment on the ballot? You broke the code: it is a voter turnout mechanism.
Should this amendment make it on the 2016 ballot, it will change the dynamics of the elections.
We are in for quite a ride. So stay tuned and take care,