updated 10/24/2013 4:56 p.m. with response from Ben Pollara of United For Care:
State Attorney General Pam Bondi is challenging a proposal to put a medical marijuana ballot initiative before voters in the November 2014 election. She sent an petition today to the Florida Supreme Court along with the campaign's ballot language and petitions.
Bondi argued that People United For Medical Marijuana, a group led by Orlando attorney John Morgan, filed ballot language that is misleading in describing how widely medical marijuana could be allowed, and by failing to note that even if Florida voters approve the constitutional amendment medical marijuana still would be illegal under federal law.
In essence, she charged that the wording was too broad and would allow doctors to prescribe pot for almost anything, making careful enforcement difficult. And she argued it could not be called legal as long as it is illegal under federal law.
That would invalidate the effort to put the amendment on the November 2014 ballot, she argued.
"It's true scope and effect remain hidden," Bondi argued in her petition to the court.
She accused People United of "hiding the ball" from voters, which is a reason the supreme court should throw out the proposed ballot initiative.
Morgan is chairman of People United. In the past he has defended the ballot language, saying it was drafted under the direction of constitutional law expert Jon Mills. He was not immediately available to comment on Bondi's action to Political Pulse. We'll update when he does.
A related organization, United For Care, is running the statewide campaign. The group issued the following statement:
"It is not surprising that out of touch Tallahassee politicians like Pam Bondi continue to oppose compassionate health care policy in Florida. Just as politicians in the Florida Legislature refused to even give medical marijuana a hearing in the 2013 session, AG Bondi wants to deny Floridians the opportunity to even vote on this issue – despite numerous polls showing that an overwhelming majority of the state is supportive of the issue," said Campaign Manager Ben Pollara.
“United for Care is confident that the language of our amendment meets all the requirements of the Florida Supreme Court’s review. We are also confident that when they are finally given an opportunity to vote on this issue, Floridians will – by a wide margin – bring safe, compassionate access to medical marijuana to the thousands of very ill residents of our state who are suffering every day without it."