United for Care steps up medical marijuana petition efforts in Orlando


Members of United for Care staked out the steps of the Orange County Courthouse on Monday afternoon, collecting petitions and promoting its platform to make medical marijuana legal in the state of Florida.

The new effort comes nearly a year after voters failed to pass Amendment 2, coming 2 percent short of the 60 percent necessary in November. Supporters hope their luck will improve in 2016 during the presidential election cycle, with an expected higher voter turnout.

Christina Cusack, who has multiple sclerosis, volunteered with United for Care on Friday, telling her story to those coming in and out of the courthouse as she collected petition signatures.

“I deal with insurmountable pain,” Cusack told reporters. “I have damaged my spine; I have lesions on my brain and my neck. I use medical marijuana to help my appetite, and with pain management. I have symptoms from the MS that dominate my life”.

Orlando super-attorney John Morgan, who championed the amendment last year, leads United for Care. Friday’s petition drive took place just a block away from his main office.

The organization will need 683,149 qualified petitions to make the 2016 ballot. Although volunteers had gathered only 50 petitions by the time they spoke to the media, United for Care says it’s ahead of schedule and should have little problem reaching the goal.

Medical marijuana wasn’t the only cause gathering petitions Friday afternoon.

Consumers for Smart Solar representatives talked to courthouse foot traffic about the “solar energy choice” ballot amendment, one of two dueling constitutional amendments regarding access and costs of solar energy that could go before voters next year.

A Smart Solar representative told reporters she wasn’t authorized to comment.

Frank Torres

Frank Torres is the Orlando-area writer for Florida Politics. He is a U.S. Army veteran who grew up in Central Florida and has covered politics in the region since 2009. Torres serves as a regular contributor to several news and radio organizations in the area and features original photography from many of the events he covers.


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