More and more Florida seniors support medical marijuana today than in years past. This due in part to education and awareness on the benefits of medical marijuana, and how it can specifically help the senior citizen population target and mitigate many age-related ailments.
The debate over marijuana legalization in Florida continues with a new push for a constitutional amendment. John Morgan, who is the chairman for United for Care, has announced that he will be matching all donations made to the cause. Mr. Morgan is hoping the presidential election in 2016 will bring out the younger voters as well as older Floridians. Senior citizens are the most reliable voters and could be key to the outcome of the measure. More and more seniors have been showing interest in the initiative by the fact they may benefit the most from it. The senior population, that is, those 50+, can be a major swing vote.
Seniors truly do need medical marijuana in order to improve quality of life. “You get older, you get sick, you start getting diseases, your bones stop working as well as they used to and you’re presented with this pharmacopoeia of different drugs that you have to take just to get through the day,” said Ben Pollara, who leads United for Care, the pro- Amendment 2 campaign. “To the extent that seniors can use marijuana to supplement or replace any other drugs I think is a good thing.”
And seniors agree. They have been attending events throughout the state. At a Broward college event recently, the audience was full of seniors. Among those who attended were those who swear by their use of marijuana. They prefer it in order to avoid painkillers that leave them feeling worse and at the risk for addiction. Around the state, seniors say they’ve used marijuana for everything from easing pain to helping them to sleep. They represent the population of older voters and other supporters of Amendment 2, which requires 60 percent approval to pass.
In Florida, a greater percentage of seniors vote. In the last midterm election in 2010, about 56 percent of Floridians 65 and older voted, higher than any other age group. They represented nearly one-third of the total ballots cast. Supporters of Medical Marijuana in Florida need to collect a minimum of 683,149 valid signatures by February 1, 2016, in order to qualify the measure for the November 2016 ballot. You can sign the petition at United For Care.