United for Care, also known as People United for Medical Marijuana, is a campaign led by John Morgan as the chairman, and Ben Pollara as the director. The group advocates for the state constitutional amendment of 2016 for medical marijuana, Amendment 2. The campaign also advocated for a similar Amendment in 2014.
In November 2014, the campaign succeeded to put medical cannabis on the ballot for Florida election by obtaining over 1.1 million signatures for petition statewide. The organization was committed to passing the amendment 2, as they believe that medical-related decisions should be made by doctors and patients, not by politicians.
To put it simply, United for Care is a petition to amend medical marijuana for republicans of Florida who are sick and suffering.
What happened to the UFC?
Marijuana is known for its numerous benefits to people. Cannabis oil, for example, are proven to treat chronic pain, nausea, and inflammation. Additionally, a higher dose of CBD oil is claimed to treat anxiety. For these reasons, some high-ranking people from Florida founded an organization that aims to legalize the medical use of marijuana in the Republic of Florida.
Kim Russel initially founded people United for Medical Marijuana or United for Care in 2009. Kim Russell was the wormer chair for Political Action Committees or PACs. PAC referred to the political committees that were administered and established by corporations, trade associations, membership organizations, or labor unions.
In 2016, John Morgan, an Orlando attorney of the law firm Morgan and Morgan became the chair of the PAC, while Ben Pollara handled the United for Care Campaign.
Since its foundation, the campaign has already performed several political activities, and the most notable one is the amendments for marijuana legalization.
In January 2016, John Morgan had announced the petition to put the request of medical marijuana legalization on November’s ballot if it obtained the needed number of signature. Amendment 2, also known as the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative, allowed the caregivers to treat patients using medical marijuana. The Department of Health shall regulate and register centers and dispensaries that produce and distribute cannabis for medicinal purposes. The DOH shall also issue IDs to both the caregivers and patients. This applies only to Florida state law. The amendment, however, does not tolerate violations on the federal law, non-medical production, possession or use of marijuana.
The organization endured a lot of struggle before the amendment was passed, and marijuana finally became legal. A lot of court trials was heard, and several controversies and criticism have been voiced out before it finally passed in 2016.
Diving Deeper into Amendment 2
Before the success of Amendment 2 in 2016, UFC campaigned in support to Florida’s Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative in 2014. The campaign failed due to insufficient votes. The required amount of vote was 60%; however, it only received 58%.
In 2016, Amendment 2 made its way to the election ballot in Florida. The “yes” vote supported medical marijuana legalization for patients with the specific incapacitating disease or comparable incapacitating conditions as diagnosed by a licensed physician.
On the other hand, the “no” vote opposed the proposal for medical marijuana legalization keeping Florida’s limited medical cannabis program in place.
- Session of 2018 (Senate Bill 726)
Senator Gary Farmer introduced Senate Bill 726 to be considered during the legislative session in 2018. The bill was constructed to allow smoked medical cannabis. Ray Rodriguez, the leader of House Majority, stated that the bill would not make it past the State House. Ultimately, the bill didn’t pass in the regular session of 2018.
- Session of 2019 (Senate Bill 182)
This year, Senator Jeff Brandes introduced Senate Bill 182 in the legislation session 2019. The bill was constructed to permit medical cannabis to be smoked, among the other provisions. On March 2019, the Senate of Florida State approved the Senate Bill 182, in a landslide vote of 34 to 4, and the bill proceeds to the House. On March 13, 2019, the House approved the bill, in a vote of 101 to 11. And finally, on March 18, 2019, the governor signed the bill to a fully implemented law.
According to the reports of Reuters, 70% of citizens from Florida favored marijuana, however, some government officials have sentiments saying that the wording for marijuana was too vague and almost everyone will be able to gain access to the drug once the bill was approved.
After the long struggle, the bill finally become a law. Now patients have legal access to the required amount of medical marijuana that they need for their medication. Moreover, there are medical marijuana cards now available, which gives better access to several dispensaries.
Now that patients have access to medical marijuana, they can experience the benefits that its brings to people, especially those that are suffering from chronic pain. However, it is important to note that marijuana must be used under a great regulation.