Ft. Lauderdale, FL- It’s been over two weeks since marijuana went on sale for recreational use in Colorado and soon residents of Washington State will be able to legally purchase recreational marijuana. The case for broader marijuana legalization for medicinal and recreational use is gaining steam (Alaska will be the next state to mull recreational marijuana). Now advocates for medical marijuana in Florida say they have achieved a major victory by gathering enough signatures to add a bill to 2014 ballots.
The group heading up the medical marijuana initiative, United Care announced yesterday they will have enough signatures by the February deadline to have a medical marijuana bill added to Florida ballots this year. Thus far, the group has collected 1.1 million signatures, of which over 450,000 have been authenticated. All they need to get it on the ballots is 683,189 signatures so they are well on their way to meeting this goal, according the CBS Miami.
Signatures are just part of the process, before a medical marijuana bill reaches ballots, the state Supreme Court must approve the language of the bill. Pami Bondi, Attorney General for the state of Florida has already challenged the wording of a medical marijuana bill stating the language would mislead voters into approving broad medical marijuana use.
The effort to legalize medical marijuana in Florida is unique in that it may approve medical marijuana for minor children who suffer from seizures before the bill hits the ballots. The legislature is looking into approve a strain of medical marijuana called Charlotte’s Web. The strain has a high concentration of cannabidiol, or CBD, and low concentration of THC which gives marijuana its intoxicating effects.
As marijuana legalization for both recreational and medicinal use continues to gain in popularity the issue of driving under the influence of marijuana will continue to arise. Law enforcement and safety advocates argue that widespread legalization will put more dangerous and intoxicated drivers on the road. Critics argue that marijuana leads to increased drug use, though this is not something that can be qualified
In our opinion, marijuana is no dangerous than alcohol. In fact it may be less dangerous as several studies which evaluated the effects marijuana has on user’s ability to drive showed that it does not increase culpability in traffic collisions. These studies have been conducted in a number of countries including the U.S. come up with the same conclusions: Drivers under the influence of marijuana are impaired but make up for that impairment by paying closer attention to the road and decrease their speed.
This is unlike drunken drivers who are more prone to taking risks and account for a third of all fatal traffic accidents.
You can read about marijuana traffic studies here.
Even so, driving under the influence of marijuana is still illegal and has a number of consequences. A DUI attorney can help any offender facing marijuana-DUI prove they are not impaired and make it possible for them to avoid conviction.