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Florida: Medical Marijuana Initiative Missing From Ballot in Some Counties?

Photo by Mike Gustafson, courtesy of Kushman Genetics

A ballot measure geared toward the legalization of a comprehensive medical marijuana program appears to be missing from the ballot in at least one of Florida’s 67 counties, reports the Sun Sentinel.

It seems election officials in Broward County failed to include United for Care’s medical marijuana initiative—Amendment 2—on this year’s ballot, a discrepancy discovered by former Oakland Park Commissioner Anne Salle. She told the Sentinel that she has spent the past week trying to get the local election office to take her complaint seriously.

A scan of Salle’s ballot clearly shows it jumps from Amendment 1 to Amendment 3, but election officials still refuse to admit that Constitutional Amendment 2 is missing.

Broward Elections Supervisor Dr. Brenda Snipes told the Sentinel that her staff has investigated the situation and can find no evidence that the voters were sent ballots without the medical marijuana question. But she says it is possible a mistake was made.

“We have a check-and-balance system. We can go back and see what we did send to the printer,” she said. “When you’re dealing with this much paper and this many people, we may have made a mistake. But I haven’t heard a lot of people saying, ‘I don’t have it, either.’ We’ve already sent [Salle] another ballot.”

Snipes went on to say that her department has yet to find a single ballot that does not include Amendment 2.

However, Salle believes the problem is more widespread than the elections office is willing to admit. She said in addition to Amendment 2 being left off her ballot, it was missing from her husband’s and several neighbors, as well.

This could be a sign that the Broward elections office is in desperate need of a major staffing overhaul. Snipes and her team recently got into a bit of trouble from the higher ups for a couple of other big mistakes, including the printing of ballots that mixed up the words “yes” and “no” with respect to an initiative separate from the medical marijuana question. There was also an issue over the posting of early primary results, which was eventually blamed on the customer support personnel of a company hired by the elections office.

As of now, there have been no reports from any other Florida county indicating a missing Amendment 2 from the ballot.

Florida mandates that all ballot measures receive 60 percent approval before becoming law, so it is absolutely crucial that all counties be accurately represented in the upcoming election. In 2014, United for Care’s Amendment 2 narrowly missed by just two points.

If voters approve the initiative on November 8, Florida will become the first state in the South to legalize a comprehensive program that allows patients with a variety of heath issues to purchase full strength cannabis products from retail dispensaries.

For all HIGH TIMES’ news coverage, click here.

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