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Health News Florida

Marijuana Initiative Headed Toward Court Review

Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana appear to have submitted enough petition signatures to spur a review by the Florida Supreme Court.

The political committee People United for Medical Marijuana had submitted 73,713 valid petition signatures to the state as of Monday evening, according to the Florida Division of Elections website. Ballot initiatives need 68,314 signatures to trigger a review of the proposed ballot language by the Supreme Court.

It was not immediately clear when the initiative might be formally submitted to the court or when justices could hear arguments about whether the proposed ballot language meets legal requirements.

If the Supreme Court ultimately signs off on the proposal, supporters of the medical-marijuana initiative would have to submit a total of 683,149 valid petition signatures to get on the November 2016 ballot.

The People United for Medical Marijuana effort, which is more commonly known as "United for Care," comes two years after backers narrowly failed to pass an initiative that would have legalized medical marijuana.

Constitutional amendments require support from 60 percent of voters, and the 2014 marijuana initiative received about 58 percent.

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