Thursday, November 06, 2014

In Florida, Republicans get cancer too … by gimleteye

Republican: Pinellas County Commissioner John Morroni Has Brain Cancer

In Florida, Republicans get cancer too, but even though 58 percent of voters approved a measure to allow medical marijuana -- particularly useful in alleviating pain and suffering for cancer treatments -- humane treatment will not be legally available in the Sunshine State.

3.3 million voters or 58% of Floridians approved the constitutional amendment on Tuesday. But Florida uniquely requires a 60 percent supermajority of voters to change the law by referendum. How did this happen?

In the early 2000's under Gov. Jeb Bush, the GOP legislature and its patrons, Big Sugar, the Florida Homebuilders, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Florida, began demonizing a citizens ballot initiative rising to the forefront: Florida Hometown Democracy.

Activists had started collecting signatures for a ballot referendum that promised hope to alleviate the costs of rampant suburban sprawl. Although Florida Hometown Democracy took an additional election cycle to make the state wide ballot, special interests wanted to head off the civic activists at the pass.

Florida's lobbyist class representing deep-pocketed campaign contributors mounted a countermeasure. They did it with 58 percent of the vote in 2006 when 2.6 million voters approved putting brakes on ballot initiatives by requiring not a simple majority to pass a ballot item, but a supermajority: from fifty to sixty percent.

All Florida Hometown Democracy wanted to do was to provide citizens the opportunity to vote for or against changes to community and municipal master development plans, required by state law to protect quality of life and the environment. Wealthy GOP funders viewed this as an existential threat.

That's why on Tuesday, the will of 3.3 million voters … a higher percentage than voted to legalize marijuana for adults in Oregon -- failed in Florida. Ironically, both the medical marijuana amendment and the 2006 requirement of a supermajority passed by fifty eight percent of the popular vote in Florida. Only the marijuana amendment failed.

On Tuesday, another pro-people amendment -- to conserve Florida's vanishing wilderness -- garnered 75 percent of the popular vote in Florida mainly because the Florida Chamber of Commerce and special interests sat on the sidelines. Why?

A lot of this money -- more than $9 billion -- will find its way into the pockets of special interests and land speculators over the next decade. But if you or your loved ones are puking your guts out from cancer treatments, thanks to those same special interests, there will be no legal marijuana in Florida to alleviate the pain.

How many Florida voters understand how this happened? In Florida, understanding from history is the highest bar of all.


Anonymous said...

The other states created a simple statute passed by initiative. There is no need to put marijuana in a Constitution. A regular initiative only requires a 50% majority to pass. It was a tactical mistake by the sponsors.

Anonymous said...

A regular initiative? What does that mean? The reason backers wanted it in the Constitution is because otherwise medical marijuana would require action by the Florida legislature which has been 100 percent against despite 58 percent of people for.

Anonymous said...

We have to work on another strategy, even to help
republicans with cancer and who need help. Voters in Miami-Dade county voted overwhelmingly in support of it about 57%. They also voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic ticket- Crist -56%; Sheldon-57%. County turnout was 40%. A turnout of 50% may have made the difference, because generally we are caring people. We can't depend on the rest of the state to carry their fair share of the load. We have to carry them too. One thing for sure, it is just a matter of time before it is legal here too.

Anonymous said...

Medical marihuana is the first step to full legalization for recreational use of marihuana. Stop destroying our society with this nonsense and give our kids a book to read rather than a joint to destroy their neurons. I saw plenty of wasted youth coming to my precinct on Tuesday telling everyone in sight all they cared about the election was "to vote for marihuana". What would the populous be asking for next if they get this passed medical cocaine? We have spent billions telling kids to "say no to drugs", now an industry of misfits wants us to join the reefer madness. Shame on all of you marihuanos.

Anonymous said...

Generally the youth vote did not show up at he polls. The ones who really want it will simply move to another state where it is legal.

CATO said...

GEEE GIMSPIERRE so Republicans didn't vote for medicinal marijuana I am a registered REP and voted in favor of Medicinal Marijuana and would even vote for total legalization and know a lot of Republicans that did and would. You are no better than xenophobic idiots regardless of party that discriminate based on race or religion.

Anonymous said...

I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that sixty percent of the voters did not vote in a big election like this.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding us of how this 60% requirement came about...Some sick hisotry....Steve Hagen