FORT MYERS, Fla. - You may have seen some petitions around town over the last few weeks. You may have even signed one. They're part of a big push to legalize medical marijuana in Florida. If that effort pays off, you'll be voting on the issue a year from now.
You'll see them wearing these shirts that say United for Care. They're part of a campaign organized by People United for Medical Marijuana. At the Fort Myers Boat Show Friday, they gathered a couple hundred signatures and plan to be back out the rest of the weekend. "We are beating the streets everyday," Larry Reposa said.
It's like any political campaign, complete with shirts, bumper stickers and signs. "I am here with a petition for the constitutional amendment to put on next year's general election ballot - the legalization of medical marijuana," Reposa said, reciting a typical speech to people who walk up.
Reposa is the lead volunteer in Fort Myers for United for Care. He personally has no interest in medical marijuana. But he's doing it for his wife. "I have three herniated discs in my back and so I am very limited," LuAnn Clark-Reposa said. "It would be a glorious day, not just for me. There are people who suffer much much more than I do."
It hasn't been easy. "We've been kicked out of JetBlue Park, we've been kicked out of
Hammond Stadium, we've been kicked out of the Edison Mall," Larry Reposa said. "You use the word marijuana and it's over with. They don't want to hear it."
Statewide, more than 683,000 signatures are needed from registered voters to put the issue on the 2014 ballot. But, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has a problem with the petition. She says it leads voters to believe there is no conflict with federal law and that it is already legal. Last month, she asked the State Supreme Court to reject this proposal.
"Some are for it, some are not. We respect both," Larry Reposa said. "We try to tell people if you are really against it, let's get it on the ballot. Then, you will have your chance to say no."
On December 5th, the State Supreme Court will rule on the proposed amendment which will determine if Floridians can even vote on the issue. If that State Supreme Court says it's okay, the signatures are needed by February 5th.