Miami Beach voters first in Florida to officially support medical marijuana

marajuannaThe movement to legalize medical marijuana in Florida just got a shot in the arm — or perhaps a steady hook-up – from Miami Beach voters.

The city held a special electionTuesday that not only put the mayor’s office and several city commission seats up for grabs, but also included a ballot question asking voters whether marijuana should be decriminalized if used as medicine.

“Should the City Commission adopt a resolution urging the federal government and the Florida Legislature to decriminalize and authorize the medical use of marijuana?”

Recently released election returns show the overwhelming answer is yes. Voters approved 64-36, making Miami Beach voters the first in Florida to officially support medical marijuana.

The ballot question, however, was an advisory, non-binding straw poll. In other words, medical pot hopefuls are still cashed-out. But the vote surely will send a high-profile message to other areas of the state.

A proposed medical marijuana constitutional amendment could appear on the statewide ballot next year if advocacy groups can obtain enough petition signatures and the Florida Supreme Court approves the amendment language.

Critics of medical marijuana say the ballot result had more to do with low voter turnout and the fact that Miami Beach is a Democratic leaning city.

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