As a 90-year-old informed voter and lifelong educator, I am very disappointed with the Bradenton Herald’s recommendation to vote yes on Amendment 2.
The amendment language is fraught with opportunities for the broadest interpretation, inevitably leading to abuses. For example, A2 allows medical marijuana to treat a long list of diseases but also “other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class or as comparable to those enumerated.” So if you have similar symptoms to those of someone with, let’s say Crohn’s disease, such as abdominal pain or cramping, you could also be provided a recommendation for medical marijuana even without the diagnosis, since these symptoms are “of the same kind or class” or “comparable.”
This is a constitutional amendment. The fact that, if approved by 60 percent of Florida voters, it’s in the Constitution, meaning it trumps all lower laws and neither the Legislature nor the state Department of Health can limit, restrict, contradict or change the language of the amendment or its legal effect.
Let’s be clear: Any legislative attempt to add restrictions is likely to draw a lawsuit and the law is likely to be invalidated. It will be up to a judge, and judges are required to give full effect to every word of the Constitution and to interpret it according to its plain meaning as written.
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A judge’s ruling can and probably will be tested at two levels, the District Court of Appeal and the state Supreme Court. At each level the question is whether the law limits or restricts A2 and whether it is “reasonable.” There is substantial likelihood that legislative restrictions would be stricken down. This is the Constitution, people: it is the supreme law of the land.
I recommend everyone read the entire amendment. And vote no on 2.