On Election Day 2014, 3 of 4 ballot measures across the country relaxing marijuana laws passed handedly. Voters in DC, Oregon and Alaska approved measures aimed at decriminalizing or legalizing recreational marijuana.
Unfortunately, the 4th state, Florida, was the largest as it was the first state in the south to consider medical cannabis.
After the votes were counted, Amendment 2 in the Sunshine State garnered just shy of 58% of the popular vote, which is impressive. However, all constitutional amendments in Florida require 60% for passage.
Despite the loss though, cannabis entrepreneurs in the state are still optimistic. Commenting to the Florida Times-Union, Pete Sessa of the Florida Cannabis Coalition explains:
All the people that were serious are sticking with it. All the people that wanted to open a dispensary or grow in their backyard or at a car wash are gone.
The failure of Amendment 2 can be blamed on several things. However, in a press conference following the vote, attorney John Morgan, who bankrolled much of the effort, is prepared to fund a similar effort for 2016.
Many legislators at the Capitol in Tallahassee though claim they may try to pass a similar measure in the 2015 session. In 2014, the Legislature passed a bill allowing a low-THC strain known as Charlotte’s Web that helps kids cope with debilitating seizures.