TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's opposition to the proposed medical marijuana constitutional amendment is drawing fire from voters across the state who have flooded her office with emails encouraging her to drop her legal opposition to the amendment.
In her October filing to the Florida Supreme Court, Bondi wrote, "The ballot title and summary suggest that the amendment would allow medical marijuana in narrow, defined, circumstances, and only for patients with 'debilitating diseases.' But if the amendment passed, Florida law would allow marijuana in limitless situations."
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After filing her challenge, Bondi's office received almost 100 emails from Florida residents with the overwhelming majority in support of medical marijuana. The emails mirror state polling, which shows a majority of Floridians support the legal use of marijuana for medical reasons.
"I was told 20 months ago that I was terminally ill, that I was too far gone for chemo, radiation or surgery," says stage four cancer patient Maria Greenfield.
Greenfield has been using medical marijuana in the form of cannabis oil taken in pill form. The drug, illegal in Florida, was obtained by driving out of state to a place where sales are legal, however, after months of driving out of state and paying out of pocket for her drugs Greenfield is out of money.
"I'm sort of going downhill," says Greenfield. "We spent fifteen thousand dollars and made two trips up there to get the oil and I'm broke now."
It is cases like Greenfield's that are cited in many of the emails to the Attorney General's office with some people identifying themselves as medical professionals and others claiming to be "fellow Republicans."
"I am making a desperate plea to drop your objections to the proposed medical marijuana amendment and I make this plea for my wife," writes one Florida man in an email to Bondi's office. "She's on multiple prescription medications to help manage her pain including morphine. Although we've managed to reduce her dosage of morphine and replace it with others not addictive she still has several bouts of unbearable searing pain in her body."
Meanwhile, the statewide petition drive to put the measure on the November ballot is still in progress. Supporters need 683,149 valid signatures to force the issue on the ballot and while People United for Medical Marijuana say they have collected more than 1 million signatures, the Florida Division of Elections has only certified 594,904. All signatures must be turned in before the first of February .