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Amendment 2 Passes!

John Morgan, Chairman at United for Care, announces win in an email.

 

Nearly 4 years. Two elections. Over 2 million petitions from Florida voters. $8 million of my money. 18,238 donations from 8,287 of supporters
like you. Over $10 million spent against us, fighting compassion.

This is it. WE did it. YOU did it.

Hundreds of thousands of sick and suffering Floridians will now benefit from this law, and soon.

This was never about winning an election, although that's exactly what we did tonight. The election was a means to an end. The end was always, always always delivering compassion to those who could benefit, those desperate for the relief medical marijuana can bring.

Mission accomplished.

I'm a superstitious guy. My pre-election ritual involves taking a long walk on the beach with my wife and spending Election Day and night at home.

Our campaign manager, Ben Pollara, has his election traditions too. He gets Chinese takeout with his wife the night before. Last night he sent me a picture of his fortune cookie. It read:

The will of the people is the best law.

I couldn't agree more.

The People spoke tonight.

For almost four years I've been telling you two things.

One. Compassion is coming.

Two. BELIEVE!!!!!!!

Tonight, I also have two messages for you.

Compassion is HERE!!!!

And, I will always deliver this message:

BELIEVE!!!!!!!!!!

-John Morgan
Yes on 2

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Medical Marijuana Campaign Publishes List of Supporting Medical Professionals

MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS SUPPORT MEDICAL MARIJUANA 

(Miami, FL) – United for Care published a list of 102 medical professionals to its website. The list includes practicing physicians, retired physicians, ER nurses, home-health nurses, clinical psychologists and other medical professionals from throughout Florida.

Ben Pollara, Campaign Manager, stated, “Our opposition has, for years, made the false claim that medical professionals are against medical marijuana and Amendment 2. In fact, there is a large number of medical professionals and associations that are openly supporting medical marijuana and want this to pass. Many, many others support the measure and are not ready to comment publicly, as this first group has."

Mr. Pollara continued, "It is also the opinion of virtually all of the editorial boards of major Florida newspapers, and of the Florida legislature, which has passed two laws clearly acknowledging marijuana as medicine."



The full list of medical professionals is below. 



  1. Andrew E. Hano, DO., St Petersburg, Hematology-oncology
  2. Anthony J. Hall, MDCM, FACS, FAANS., Lauderhill, neurological surgery
  3. Richard Sabates, Delray Beach, Family medicine and pain management
  4. Jose Foradada, Tampa, Pediatric Neurology Specialist
  5. David Duncan, Cape Coral, Paramedic
  6. Jose A. Colindres, Broward/Palm Beach County, Pediatrician and Neonatologist
  7. Abner Martin Landry III, Largo, MD, FACR, Interventional Pain Specialist
  8. Jeffrey Kamlet, MD., Miami, Addiction Specialist
  9. Bernard Cantor, MD., Weston, Gynecology and Obstetrics (retired)
  10. Selim Benbadis, Tampa, Neurologist and Neurosurgeon
  11. Gregory Gerdeman, PhD., St Pete, Biology and Pharmacology
  12. Juan Sanchez-Ramos, Tampa, Neurologist
  13. Anne Morgan, MD., Palm Beach Gardens, Family Medicine
  14. Clifford Selsky, Ph.D., MD., Orlando, Palliative Care Pediatrician and Pediatric Oncology and Hematology
  15. Jeffrey Milley, St. Pete Beach, Registered Pharmacist
  16. Joseph Rosado, MD., Sanford, Primary Care Physician
  17. Kathryn Limper, Tampa, RN BSN
  18. Sasha Parker, Fort Lauderdale, Nurse
  19. Nicole Tracey, Fort Myers, RN OCN
  20. John H. Merey, MD., West Palm Beach, Ophthalmologist
  21. Ray Bellamy, MD., Tallahassee, Orthopedic Surgeon
  22. Carol L. Roberts, MD., Tampa, Integrative Medicine ABIHM
  23. Stephen Blythe, Melbourne, Family Physician
  24. Kathryn Lotspeich Villano, MD., Miami, Internal Medicine (retired)
  25. Jason Sturtsman,Vero Beach, B.A.E., Ed.S., School Psychologist
  26. César Rexach, Kissimmee, RN, MSN., Health Care Education
  27. Silvia Betancor, MD., Miami, Internal medicine
  28. Brenda Valdez, Live Oak, RN, Home Health
  29. Luis Galano-Lavin, Palm Coast, Family Medicine/Urgent Care
  30. Maria McConchie, Fort Lauderdale, Nurse Anesthetist
  31. Debbie Johnson, Orlando, RN, CHPN, Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse, Education
  32. Caroline Faxas, Hallandale, Board Certified Acupuncture Physician, Herbalist
  33. Tracy Christian, Palm Beach, Compounding Pharmacist, Pharmacy Owner
  34. Robert H Dudley, MD., Delray Beach, palliative and hospice care
  35. Ike Okeke, Tampa, Pharmacist
  36. Tammy Lettieri, Deerfield Beach,Physical Therapist
  37. Jonathan King, Jacksonville,RN
  38. Michelle Weiner, DO, MPH., Hollywood, Interventional Pain management / physical medicine and rehabilitation
  39. Megan King, Jacksonville ,RN
  40. Lisa Otero, Altamonte Springs , RN,
  41. Jeanne DeSilver, Jacksonville ,RN Retired,
  42. David Berger, MD., FAAP., Pediatrician, Owner and Medical Director, Wholistic Pediatrics and Family Care
  43. Elsie Eten, Safety Harbor, RN Retired,
  44. Linda Claassen, Deland, Hospice RN,
  45. Michael Bean, Melbourne, RN, CEN,
  46. Michelle Lynn Collier, RPh., Winter Garden, Clinical pharmacist
  47. Michael Dziubek, Sarasota, RN
  48. Terri P. Kelly, Tarpon Springs, RN, Oncology Research Auditor
  49. James F. Jones, Amelia Island, Acupuncture Physician
  50. Diane Loo, Miami, RN, Certified Wound Care Nurse
  51. Dennis Howard, Venice, Retired RN 03’, Critical Care Nurse
  52. Shannon Perez, Coral Gables, RN, Critical Care Nurse
  53. Marty Landy, Largo, MD FACR
  54. Patrick Criss, Kennesaw, GA., D.C., B.S. (Licensed In Florida and Georgia)
  55. Richard Bolin, Eustis, ER RN
  56. Anthony M. Walker, Hollywood, R.N.
  57. Don Vliegenthart, Melbourne, Nonoperative Orthopedics and Pain Management
  58. Clyde Pence, Pensacola, Nephrologist
  59. Robert V. Siegel, Fort Walton Beach ,General Physician
  60. Kathaleen Davis, Ft. Myers, Psychiatric Nurse, Certified Hospice and Wound Care
  61. Leonarda Duran,MD, Miami, Psychotherapist, Hypnotherapist
  62. J.D. Gold, PhD., Summerfield, Clinical Psychologist
  63. Scott Nations, Largo, Registered ER Nurse
  64. Elizabeth Kostelnick, Crystal River, RN
  65. Geena Palank, Stuart,  RN BSN
  66. Michelle Backus, Sebring, RN
  67. Sasha Parker, Fort Lauderdale, RN/Educational Director Esthetic Skin Institute
  68. Liva Jacobs, Miami, RN
  69. Joy S. Graham, MD., Palm Beach Gardens, Anesthesiologist
  70. Alisa Fuller, Orlanda, RN BSN
  71. Maria Medina Capote, MD., Miami, pediatrician
  72. Jerry Capote, MD., Miami, pediatrician
  73. Shannon Carnley, Bartow, RN
  74. Justin Sellers, Orlando, Radiologic Technologist, CT Scan and MRI Certified
  75. Cesar Rexach, Kissimmee, Retired RN MSN
  76. Andrew Margileth, Miami, Pediatric Dermatologist
  77. Charles Montgomery, Lakeland, RN
  78. Steven Bowman, Clearwater, MD of Internal Medicine
  79. Donna Lahey, Marathon, Clinical Laboratory Technologist
  80. Barry Apfel, Boca Raton, Registered pharmacist
  81. Jonathan Daitch, MD., Fort Myers, Pain management
  82. Rachel Bjornstad, Pensacola, Medical Technologist
  83. Nancy Barstow, Venice, RN
  84. Lawrence Schiffman, DO., FAOCD., Doral, dermatology
  85. John W. Pate, Fountain ,RN
  86. Tina McBride, Punta Gorda, RN
  87. Jim Funk, Gainesville, ARNP (retired)
  88. Andrew Sutherland, Orlando, Doctor of Chiropractics
  89. Pam Pirraglia, RN, CCM, CDMS; Nurse Case Manager
  90. Purvin Shah, DO, Jacksonville, Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine & Critical Care Medicine
  91. Stephanie Smithgall, Callahan, RN
  92. Cyndi Christine, Port Orange, RN (retired)
  93. Yolanda C. Leon, Psy.D., ABPdN - Tampa/Gainesville,  Neuropsychologist, Clinical Psychologist, School Psychologist, Pediatric Neuropsychology
  94. Justin Davis, M.D., Gainesville, Family practice, alternative and integrative medicine
  95. Tricia Gibbs, Sarasota, Medical assistant
  96. Eyad Alsabbag, M.D., Brooksville, Pain management
  97. Bill Hadley, Tampa, RN
  98. Valerie Pasqualini, Del ray, RN and risk manager
  99. Peter A. Radice, MD, FACP, FAAHPM., Tampa, Supportive Oncology, Palliative Care
  100. Michael Uphues, DO, Naples, Family medicine
  101. Linda Colindres, St. Pete, RN
  102. Bruce Alperstein, MD., Milton, internal medicine
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Editorial Support Grows for Amendment 2

Support is growing for Amendment 2 and the campaign to see an expanded medical marijuana program in Florida is anounces it with press release.

 

Press Release: Florida Times-Union, Ft. Myers News Press Endorse Amendment 2; Both Were Opposed in 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2016 
CONTACT: BIANCA GARZA 
EMAIL: PRESS@UNITEDFORCARE.ORG 

Third newspaper to change endorsement from 2014

(Miami Beach, FL) -- This weekend the editorial boards of two major Florida daily newspapers - the Florida Times-Union and the Ft. Myers News-Press - urged their readers to vote "yes" on Amendment 2. Both papers' editorial boards had opposed Amendment 2 in 2014.

The Times-Union's editorial is titled, "An improved medical marijuana amendment deserves support." They say the 2016 amendment is "better crafted" and cite the unanimous decision from the Florida Supreme Court as proof. They also note the amendment "was crafted with the abuses of pill mills in mind so there is an extra step for approval," and it makes "clear that physicians who abuse the law still are liable for current malpractice laws."

The News-Press said they support Amendment 2 to, "help those patients dealing with severe pain brought on by disease and other severe ailments." They note that the definition of who qualifies under the law has been made "more specific" and that "A parent's written consent is required in order for children to use the drug and caregivers must have appropriate background checks."

The Bradenton Herald editorial board declared its support for medical marijuana in February, and was the first newspaper to change its position from 2014. To date, 11 large daily newspapers in Florida have issued endorsements on Amendment 2; 9 of 11 have told readers to vote "yes."

Links to 2016 editorial board endorsements:

Yes in 2016, but opposed in 2014:
Bradenton Herald
Ft Myers News Press
Florida Times Union

Yes in 2014 and 2016:
Miami
Sun Sentinel
Sarasota Herald Tribune
Tallahassee Democrat
Gainesville Sun
Ocala Star Banner

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Medical Marijuana Amendment Polling Near 80%

MEDICAL MARIJUANA AMENDMENT POLLING NEAR 80% IN RECENT SURVEY

Statewide poll of 1,000 likely voters shows 77%-20% in favor of Amendment 2

(Miami Beach, FL) -- In a survey conducted by Anzalone Liszt Research on behalf of United for Care, likely Florida voters favor Amendment 2 - "Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions" - by a margin of 77%-20%. Anzalone conducted a similar survey for United for Care in June, 2014 in which the previous version of Amendment 2 received 69% support. The medical marijuana amendment ultimately received 58% in the last election, just shy of the 60% that Florida law requires for passage. 

Kevin Akins, of Anzalone Liszt Grove, said of the recent polling, “Voter support for medical marijuana in Florida is stronger than ever. A broad and diverse coalition of voters across age, racial, and gender lines support Amendment 2 by a winning margin."

Indeed, the survey showed only 3% undecided. Other recent polls have shown similarly small levels of undecided voters on this issue. 

United for Care campaign manager, Ben Pollara, said, "I'm obviously pleased at these levels of support, but I'm also not surprised. The notion of allowing medical decisions to be made by doctors and patients, not politicians, is simply not controversial. Floridians are compassionate and they know that marijuana can help alleviate suffering.”

“The 2016 ballot language is also stronger and addressed a number of concerns that some voters expressed previously. It was approved unanimously by the supreme court, and we’re seeing a broader coalition supportive of passage than before,” said Pollara.

Respondents to United for Care's poll were read the complete ballot title and summary for amendment 2 - "Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions" - that will appear on Florida's 2016 general election ballot, then asked if they would vote "yes" or "no" on the amendment. The poll was conducted July 17-21 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%. The poll included bilingual dialing, and 46% of the poll was among cell phone completes, while 39% of the poll was among cell phone-only households.

For press inquiries please contact Bianca Garza at press@unitedforcare.org.

Powered by over 14,000 volunteers, United for Care is the largest organization in Florida fighting for a sensible medical marijuana law. United for Care is a non-partisan campaign with an on-the-ground presence across the state.

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Legal Sales of Medical Marijuana Begin!

Medical marijuana will be legally for sale next week, but it is not a time to celebrate or stop working. 


While it is technically accurate medical marijuana will be "available" next week for purchase in Florida—due to some limited bills passed by the legislature—the reality is that all but a few who should have access (and would under Amendment 2) will still find themselves without it. The limitations and constraints of the laws are so great that very few doctors can currently recommend medical marijuana, and virtually no patients will actually be able to buy it. 

Paraphrasing John Morgan... That's just f***ing stupid. 

Meanwhile, our opponents are pouring money into their campaign to try to make it so these patients NEVER have access. (Fight back here.)

Amendment 2 remains the ONLY way to secure medical marijuana, with no fear of arrest or imprisonment, for the hundreds of thousands of patients suffering from a variety of serious, debilitating conditions and illnesses.  It also provides a regulatory environment that will make sure doctors can legally recommend marijuana to their patients. 

Current law, with an exception for terminally ill patients, allows solely for "low-THC Cannabis". The vast preponderance of science, medicine and anecdote say that THC, the chemical that gets a person "high", is also the component that brings much of the plant's medicinal benefits. 

So yes, marijuana will be on sale next week in Florida. But few will qualify, fewer still will be able to find a doctor to make the order, and those few  who can may not be helped by what they purchase.

If sick and suffering Floridians are ever to truly see relief through medical marijuana, voters must approve Amendment 2 this November.

Please support this effort. Mel Sembler just put in another $500,000 against us.  Can you make a contribution for $25, $50, $100, $250 or more here?

Thank you. 

- Ben Pollara

Chairman
United for Care

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Medical Marijuana Campaign Manager, Ben Pollara, Comments on Medical Marijuana Legislation

United for Care is the largest organization advocating for the passage of Amendment 2, "Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions."
The organization's Campaign Manager, Ben Pollara, had this to say about the Senate's decision, "Today the Senate agonized over, before finally passing, SB 460, which supposedly expands the number of eligible medical marijuana patients in Florida. Unfortunately, because of the persistent ineptitude of the state legislature, there are presently zero eligible medical marijuana patients in the state. The bill's passage today is merely more lipstick on the pig that is Tallahassee's failed 'medical marijuana' law. Sick and suffering Floridians will only see relief by approving Amendment 2 in the November elections."

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FL Voters Favoring Medical Marijuana Amendment at 65%

Public Policy Polling states, "It looks like there's a good chance the second time will be the charm when it comes to getting a medical marijuana initiative passed in Florida. 65% of voters say they'll vote for one this fall to only 28% who are opposed, passing the 60% threshold with some breathing room. There's bipartisan support for the measure with Democrats (75/18), independents (70/22), and Republicans (53/40) all expressing their favor for it."

See all results here.

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Bradenton Herald Endorses Amendment 2

Bradenton Herald Endorses Amendment 2; Had Opposed Medical Marijuana in 2014 Election

Herald: “The state needs a comprehensive approach to medical marijuana, not piecemeal laws.”

(Miami Beach, FL) - In a surprising about-face from their previous opposition to the 2014 medical marijuana constitutional amendment, the editorial board of the Bradenton Herald endorsed Amendment 2 for the 2016 election. This is the second Florida newspaper to endorse Amendment 2 in the last week, after the Miami Herald did so on February 11, 2016. (The Miami Herald endorsed amendment 2 in 2014 as well.)

The Bradenton Herald’s editorial scathingly critiqued the Florida legislature’s inaction on the issue of medical marijuana, beginning the piece by saying, “Legislators are once again abdicating their responsibilities on the issue of medical marijuana.” They go on to call lawmakers “tone deaf”, accuse them of “ignoring citizens”, and chide Tallahassee politicians for failing to “get [their] act together”.

In their endorsement of the 2016 constitutional amendment, the editorial states that, “The new language resolves all the objectionable provisions of the flawed 2014 initiative.” It goes on to call the amendment, “much improved with various clarifying revisions.”

United for Care Campaign Manager, Ben Pollara, praised the editorial, “The Bradenton Herald gets it right: Florida needs a comprehensive medical marijuana law, and the inaction of Tallahassee politicians leaves us no other options but to amend the Florida constitution. We are honored to have the endorsement of the Herald’s editorial board.”

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United for Care receives SEIU Florida Endorsement; 55,000 Nurses, Doctors and Healthcare Workers Endorse Medical Marijuana

Today the Service Employees International Union of Florida (SEIU Florida) proudly announced its endorsement of United for Care’s ballot initiative, which will allow Florida voters the chance to vote on medical marijuana in November 2016. In the 2014 election, the SEIU supported United for Care and Amendment 2, which received 58% in that election.

SEIU Florida represents over 55,000 active and retired healthcare professionals, public employees, and property service workers in the state. SEIU Florida’s members provide crucial services in hospitals, nursing homes, public schools, community colleges, municipal and county governments, malls, and universities across the state.

“We are honored to again receive the support of the SEIU,” said Ben Pollara, Campaign Manager at United for Care. “The endorsement from the union representing the largest number of healthcare workers in the State is particularly rewarding. We will proudly fight alongside SEIU Florida to secure the rights of doctors and their patients with debilitating conditions to make medical decisions without having to live like criminals.”

A representative of the SEIU Florida State Council expressed her support for both United for Care and the new proposed amendment.

“The Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions ballot initiative is about compassion and quality of care for patients. There are hundreds of thousands of very sick Floridians who will find relief due to this comprehensive proposal. There are 24 other states that have a medical marijuana law; United for Care is doing the right thing for Florida by bringing this issue to the voters. Moreover, the proposal puts medical decisions back in their proper place- between patient and doctor,” said Martha Baker, RN, president of SEIU Local 1991, which represents nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals at Florida’s largest public hospital.

Baker, who is also Vice President of SEIU Florida, continued to say, “Seriously ill patients should not have to expose themselves to prosecution for seeking to obtain the medicine they need to relieve their symptoms, and no physician should have to put their freedom or their license at risk for recommending the use of that medicine.”

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PRESS RELEASE: MEDICAL MARIJUANA TO BE VOTED ON IN 2016

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: Wednesday, January 27, 2016
CONTACT: Bianca Garza
EMAIL: Press@unitedforcare.org


Medical marijuana qualifies for 2016 ballot; Will be Amendment 2 in November election

(Miami Beach, FL) - The Florida Division of Elections shows that the initiative petition, “Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Conditions”, has exceeded the 683,149 signatures required to be placed on the 2016 ballot. It will appear before voters as Amendment 2 in the November general election after the division issues their final certification on February 2nd, 2016. The amendment was previously approved by the Florida Supreme Court in a 7–0 decision.

“Compassion is coming,” said United for Care chairman, John B. Morgan, who largely funded the signature collection campaign for the initiative. “This November, Florida will pass this law and hundreds of thousands of sick and suffering people will see relief. What Tallahassee politicians refused to do, the people will do together in this election.”

Morgan continued, “Our language is stronger than in 2014 and it shows. Pam Bondi didn’t challenge us this time. The Court approved our language unanimously. The people of Florida are compassionate. We will win this election for the really sick people in our state.”

To be placed on the ballot, a constitutional amendment requires the signatures of 683,149 registered Florida voters as well as signatures representing 8% of the 2012 electorate in at least half of Florida’s 27 congressional districts. At the time of release, the Division of Elections was reporting that 692,981 total signatures and 14 congressional districts had qualified. In addition to the signature requirement, the Florida Supreme Court must opine on the constitutionality of the amendment language, which they did unanimously in a December opinion. A constitutional amendment requires a 60% vote in support to pass. The previous medical marijuana amendment, on the November 2014 ballot, received 58%, falling just short of passage.

United for Care’s campaign manager and treasurer, Ben Pollara, said, “This is a tremendous victory for patients and doctors in our state. Amendment 2 will pass this fall and less than a year from today Florida will join 23 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing physicians to recommend marijuana to individuals with debilitating conditions. Every day, doctors prescribe dangerous, addictive, and potentially deadly narcotics to their patients but can’t even suggest the use of marijuana, which has never killed a person in thousands of years of human civilization. Very soon, Florida doctors will finally have that option.”

For press inquiries please contact Bianca Garza at press@unitedforcare.org.

###

Powered by over 13,000 volunteers, United for Care is the largest organization in Florida fighting for a sensible medical marijuana law. United for Care is a non-partisan campaign with an on-the-ground presence across the state including a campaign office in Miami and Tampa.

 

Pd. Pol. Adv. paid for by People United for Medical Marijuana, 20 North Orange Avenue, Suite 1600, Orlando, FL 32801.

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About Us.

Florida for Care was founded in 2014 to advocate for the implementation of a strong, well-regulated, Florida medical marijuana system under Amendment 2.

Contact Us.

  • Address:
         Attn: Eric S/Su Van/Chris R.
         Florida for Care
         PO BOX 416169
         525 71st St
         Miami Beach, FL 33141
  • Phone: (850) 364-4868
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