Florida could be the next state to legalize medical marijuana. Officials there are considering placing a statewide referendum on the ballot next year that would allow voters to decide the issue. If medical marijuana does make it to the ballot in Florida, polls show it would pass with more than 80 percent of the vote. A recent Quinnipiac University poll also found many voters also favor outright legalization of state constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana is strong among voters of all political parties, age groups and income levels.
Quinnipiac pollsters say nearly half of Florida voters — 48 percent — favor total legalization of marijuana, while 46 percent say they are against pot for recreational use. Last year, voters in the states of Washington and Colorado approved ballot initiatives to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. California became the first state to allow marijuana to be prescribed for medicinal use in 1996. Since that time, 19 other states and the District of Columbia have passed similar measures. Analysts say California — the nation’s most populous state — is still home to this country’s most liberal medical marijuana law.
A bill to legalize marijuana for medical use in Tennessee stalled in a state Senate committee in 2012. Even so, proponents of medical marijuana continue to lobby state lawmakers on the issue. Supporters of medical marijuana say it can be an effective and safe treatment for the symptoms of cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis and glaucoma.
Law enforcement officials and drug counselors fear going soft on marijuana will lead to more crime and complicate efforts to steer addicts away from other drugs. Opponents to medical marijuana also say various legal drugs are already available to treat pain. We want to hear from you. Should Tennessee lawmakers allow voters to decide a referendum on medical marijuana?
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