After the state Supreme Court approved the proposed ballot language, and with Friday’s official validation of more than the required 683,971 signatures, Florida residents will get to vote on medical marijuana in November’s general election. United For Care campaign manager Ben Pollara took to the group’s website Monday to make the official announcement of the ruling and thanked all who took part in making the group’s mission a reality.
“This was an enormous, unlikely victory—made possible because of the work and generosity of so many—particularly John Morgan, who largely funded the petition gathering effort,” Pollara said. “Soon, with your help Florida will join 20 other states and [Washington] DC as allowing doctors to prescribe what is in the best interests of their patients.”
In Monday’s blog post, Pollara called the state Supreme Court ruling an “historic moment for the people of Florida,” noting its particular significance to those suffering from debilitating illnesses. In the same blog post, Pollara referenced United For Care’s plans for the months ahead leading up to November’s general election.
“Now the work of educating voters and combating false information truly begins,” Pollara said, “and I hope we can count on you.”
This next phase of the campaign, one Pollara admits will be expensive, aims to ensure that at least 60 percent of Florida voters support the medical marijuana amendment come election time. At this time, United For Care is asking for donations, each of which will be matched by donor Barbara Steifel until 11:59 pm on January 31, to help reach the group’s $20,000 goal to launch the next phase of the campaign.
Late last Friday, it was announced that Florida’s Supervisors of Elections had validated enough of the 1.1 million signatures submitted by United For Care to push the group well past the number needed to include the initiative on November’s ballot. Despite the long road ahead for United For Care and supporters of medical marijuana, Pollara said Friday that even making it this far is something to celebrate.
“This is an amazing feat. I have to admit, less than a year ago I never thought we’d see this day—but thanks to your support and hard work, we were able to make history together,” Pollara said in a blog post Friday. “I want to thank everyone involved in this campaign—particularly our staff, donors, petition collectors, and volunteers—for making this possible.”