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SEIU Throws Support Behind Campaign To Legalize Medical Marijuana

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Guy Bentley Research Associate, Reason Foundation
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One of the largest unions in the country is throwing its weight behind a campaign to give Florida voters a chance to legalize medical marijuana.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) of Florida endorsed United for Care’s ballot initiative Tuesday, which will allow Floridians to vote on medical marijuana in November, Sunshine State News reports.

The SEIU represents 55,000 people in Florida and backed a different medical marijuana ballot initiative named Amendment Two back in 2014. Despite receiving 58 percent of the vote, the measure was defeated because constitutional amendments require 60 percent of the vote.

Ben Pollara, campaign manager at United for Care, said in the press release, “we are honored to again receive the support of the SEIU. The endorsement from the union representing the largest number of healthcare workers in the State is particularly rewarding.”

He added, “We will proudly fight alongside SEIU Florida to secure the rights of doctors and their patients with debilitating conditions to make medical decisions without having to live like criminals.”

Vice President of SEIU Local 1991, which represents healthcare workers in Florida’s biggest public hospital, Martha Baker, delivered a strong message in favor of legalization, claiming the measure was in the best interest of patients.

“The use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions ballot initiative is about compassion and quality of care for patients. There are hundreds of thousands of very sick Floridians who will find relief due to this comprehensive proposal,” said Baker.

“There are 24 other states that have a medical marijuana law; United for Care is doing the right thing for Florida by bringing this issue to the voters. Moreover, the proposal puts medical decisions back in their proper place- between patient and doctor,” she added.

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