Two proposals are before the Florida Legislature to put an amendment on the ballot next November to the State Constitution which would allow medical use of cannabis by citizens.
House Joint Resolution 353 and Senate Joint Resolution 1028 both have been resubmitted from last year’s session and HJR 353 has been sent to the Criminal Justice Subcommittee where it has had its first reading and SJR 1028 has been reintroduced to the Senate. Both bills have similar wording to be put to the citizens of Florida as a proposed amendment to the states constitution. If the bills are passed then the proposed amendment would need to receive 60 percent affirmative votes for passage since it would be an amendment to the state constitution.
Both bills propose amending the State Constitution to provide a patient or primary caregiver charged with a violation of the state’s criminal laws related to the patient’s medical use of cannabis, also known as marijuana, with a defense to the charge if the patient has a debilitating condition and the physician, in the context of a bona fide physician-patient relationship, determines that the patient might benefit from the medical use of cannabis.
HJR 353 was introduced by Clemens (CO-SPONSORS) Bullard; Kriseman; Pafford; Rehwinkel Vasilinda
SJR 1028 was introduced by Bullard
If this is passed out of the legislature and put on the ballot this November and receives the necessary 60 percent of the vote then it would put Florida in conflict with federal laws where it is still illegal to use, buy and sell marijuana. The citizens and the state of Florida are legally within their rights to decide this issue based on the 10th Amendment which states; “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” No where in the US Constitution was the federal government givin the authorty to regulate what plants we grow or consume, this is purely a state power.
Neither of these amendments address what the response will be to the federal government when they step in to enforce federal ‘law’; but both proposals have provisions concerning the enforecement of state law. If these proposed amendments are adopted then the state needs to pass a bill informing the federal government that they have no authority within the state when it comes to the medical use of cannabis, otherwise the legislators have not done their duty to protect their citizens.
To see the TAC Tenth Amendment Commission model legislation, click HERE.
Visit the TACs legislative tracking page HERE
William Kennedy [send him email] is the State Director for the North Carolina Tenth Amendment Center. A strong supporter of the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights with special emphasis on State Sovereignty protected by the Tenth Amendment.
If you enjoyed this post:
Click Here to Get the Free Tenth Amendment Center Newsletter,