UF’s Levin College of Law held a discussion Wednesday about citizen-based constitutional amendments with a modern angle — legalizing medical marijuana.
Two members of the campaign for legalizing medical marijuana in Florida spoke to about 50 students about mustering voter support for their bill through mass petitioning.
Ben Pollara, the executive director of United For Care’s medical marijuana campaign in Florida, said he and his associates gathered about 800,000 petition signatures to bring the bill to Florida’s ballot.
“This is a bill about medical care,” Pollara said. “Marijuana has never killed anybody, and the sick people who use it are not criminals.”
The second speaker, former UF law dean Jon Mills couldn’t attend, but his research assistant spoke on his behalf. Andrew Starling, who worked on the campaign with Mills, spoke about the legal difficulties of getting a bill passed in Florida.
“The legislature’s will doesn’t match up to the people’s will,” said Starling, a third-year law student.
Michael Greenberg, a 24-year-old UF second-year law student, said the medical marijuana issue is important, and the bill will likely garner support on both sides of the political spectrum.
However, Greenberg said with Florida’s reputation for prescription-pill abuse, there’s a possibility that some people will try to take advantage of the medical marijuana system.
“I think there’s a lot of potential for abuse,” he said. “But at the same time, if it could be regulated properly, it will help a lot of people.”
United for Care Director Ben Pollara discussed his involvement with the campaign for medical marijuana legalization in Florida. Pollara was hosted by UF’s Levin College of Law chapter of American Constitution Society for Law and Policy on Wednesday afternoon.