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Florida Supreme Court Clears Way For Medical Marijuana On Ballot

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CBS Miami (con't)

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Florida voters will get to decide whether medical marijuana should be legal in the state.

The state Supreme Court cleared the way for a November ballot question proposing a constitutional amendment in a 4-3 decision handed down Monday.

Click here to read the decision from the Supreme Court.

“I’m going to be voting against in,” Governor Rick Scott said at a Miami press event just hours after the ruling was announced. “I’m not in favor of marijuana. I think illegal drug use is not right. I’ve seen how it’s impacted families the same way alcohol has impacted families.”

The decision is a loss for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who has said the amendment language is misleading.

In a statement, Bondi said “Today’s ruling leaves the issues of medical marijuana in the hands of Florida voters. I encourage every Floridian to read the full amendment in order to understand the impact it could have on Floridians.”

But many amendment proponents touted the Supreme Court’s decision as a reason to celebrate.

“I’m so excited about this,” former Miami Beach mayoral candidate Steve Berke told CBS4 News.

Berke ran on the platform of decriminalizing marijuana use.

“The Florida Supreme Court approving the ballot language is a monumental victory for sick people throughout Florida. Finally, people are going to be able to get the medicine that they need,” Berke said.

Weston father Seth Hyman says his daughter needs that medicine.

I previous interview with CBS4 News, Hyman explained how his daughter Rebecca has a rare genetic disorder that makes her prone to constant violent seizures.

“She will have little ones where she gets little electric shocks and her whole body will shake or she’ll have bigger ones that will last three, four minutes,” Hyman explained.

He said the drug will help control the seizures. Hyman traveled to Tallahassee recently to ask lawmakers to consider allowing marijuana uses for medicinal purposes.

“You feel sorry for anybody going through anybody going through any health care issues where they feel like that can help them,” Gov. Scott said. “The voters are going to decide. It’s going to be on the ballot.”

Scott was in town Monday to discuss a proposed 15-day sales tax holiday for hurricane supplies when he addressed the topic.

Democratic gubernatorial candidates Nan Rich and Charlie Crist have both expressed their support for the measure.

“This is an issue of compassion, trusting doctors, and trusting the people of Florida. I will vote for it,” Crist said in a statement.

The election is scheduled for November 4th.

“The News Service of Florida’s Dara Kam contributed to this report.”

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