After the 2014 Election, all eyes have been on Florida to see if the Florida Legislature will step up and carry out the will of 58% of Florida voters that want medical marijuana to be legalized. Medical marijuana in Florida is more popular than any political candidate that ran in 2014. I can’t think of any other issue in Florida that is more popular right now. There will be a high profile lobbyist pushing for medical marijuana legislation between now and the 2016 Election. Per Sunshine State News:
Jeff Kottkamp, former Republican lieutenant governor of Florida, completed paperwork Monday to begin lobbying on behalf of a new Florida for Care medical marijuana bill. It is expected to be a legislative alternative to a 2016 United for Care ballot amendment already in the petition process.
Kottkamp said he will use experience he gained leading the Governor’s Office of Drug Control during the Crist administration to represent Florida for Care, the sister organization of United for Care, of which attorney John Morgan is chairman.
Kottkamp said he will be working with Dan Rogers, Florida for Care’s director of legislative affairs. “I’ll be lobbying for the legislation, not the ballot amendment,” he said.
Florida’s Legislature has the opportunity during the next session to pass their version of a real medical marijuana bill. If they fail to do so, Florida voters will likely see another medical marijuana initiative on the 2016 ballot. The main backer of the 2014 effort, attorney John Morgan, is already in the process of beginning to collect signatures for a revamped initiative for Election 2016. 2016 will be a much more favorable year for the campaign compared to 2014 since it’s a Presidential election year, and with some tweaks to the bill and an improved campaign strategy, I’m confident that the initiative will pass. But hopefully the Florida Legislature steps up and saves activists a lot of time and money.