By ALEX GOLDMAN
The two prominent amendments on the Florida ballot were Amendment 1, which created an industry monopoly on solar power, and Amendment 2, which legalized medicinal marijuana.
Amendment 1, the Trojan horse of a pro-solar amendment, failed to receive a super-majority, or 60 percent, of votes.
Amendment 2 passed with 71.3 percent approval.
As was the case in past elections, The New York Times had a page detailing the results for each amendment, one for Amendment 1 and another for Amendment 2. Each page had results broken down by county.
Interestingly, every Florida county voted favorably to pass Amendment 2 and legalize medicinal marijuana. For a state that has been so backwards on marijuana categorization, that was a surprise.
As for Amendment 1, a decent majority supported the “yes” vote. Even so, the amendment was still 10 percentage points in the red.
The Miami Herald ran a piece that looked into the efforts that were put forth to defeat Amendment 1. In the article, Mary Ellen Klas quoted Tory Perfetti, chairman of Floridians for Solar Choice, an opposition group.
“We defeated one of the most egregious and underhanded attempts at voter manipulation in this state’s history,” Perfetti said, referencing the misleading nature of the amendment.
Amendment 1 cloaks itself as being pro-solar by protecting individuals’ rights to solar energy, but would effectively eliminate the market for solar energy in Florida by creating an investor-owned utilities monopoly on the energy source.
The Herald also had an article about the passing of Amendment 2. According to the story, Florida became the 26th state to legalize marijuana either recreationally or for medicinal purposes.
According to writer Michael Auslen, questions remain about how the medical marijuana amendment will be implemented.
“The Florida Department of Health has until July 2017 to pass regulations under the new amendment,” Auslen writes, and “by October, the state must start registering growers, dispensaries and other facilities and start issuing identification cards for patients approved to use marijuana.”
I’m interested in how Florida will transition to a medical marijuana state.
Will recreational legalization come next?