Kudos to the Bradenton Herald for recommending voting "no" on Amendment 2 due to "loose language," noting that "the ballot language contains worrisome provisions that open the door to abuse." However, subsequent published articles and letters seem to challenge that assertion and are misleading.
Everyone wants to be compassionate. That's not the problem.
I don't think most people understand the difference between legislation and a constitutional amendment. The fact is, if approved by 60 percent of the Florida voters, Amendment 2 becomes part of the Florida Constitution, meaning it trumps all lower laws. Neither the Legislature nor the Department of Health can limit, restrict, contradict or change the language of the amendment or its legal impact.
It's way too late to say that the drafters of this amendment didn't mean what they said or that they expect the DOH or the Legislature to correct any problems. The DOH especially, as a state agency, is limited in what it can do: the department can't go beyond the authority expressly delegated to it by law.
Never miss a local story.
For example, while Amendment 2 authorizes the DOH to adopt rules for the "procedures" caregivers use; it does not give the department authority to add "qualifications" or "restrictions" on caregivers. That's what the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee (the watchdog of state agencies) criticized about the Charlotte's Web rules and it would happen here, too.
So a "caregiver" can be you, me, a convicted drug dealer, essentially anyone over the age of 21 since that's the only criteria in Amendment 2. I find this unacceptable.
Let's do some real thinking about unintended consequences on this. And I suggest that everyone read the entire Amendment 2, not just the ballot language. It's your Constitution after all.