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Medical marijuana rejected in Florida

Measure needed 60 percent to pass

FL Amendment 2-Medical Marijuana

Florida voters have rejected the sale and distribution of medical marijuana in the state.

The Associated Press declared that Amendment 2 had failed as it did not appear it would reach the necessary 60 percent to pass. With nearly 98 percent of precincts reporting, about 58 percent of voters had voted yes and 42 percent had voted against it.

[UPDATE: Attorney John Morgan says medical marijuana issue will be back ]

The campaign for medical marijuana was among the most expensive ballot measures in the country, with millions spent on both sides.

Prominent Orlando attorney John Morgan, who spearheaded the initiative, tweeted about the defeat.

"We needed 60%. We came close. We tried our best, this is only the first battle. We will win this war! #BELIEVE!!! #MedicalMarijuana," he said.

Drug Free America Foundation, which opposed medical marijuana, celebrated the decision.

"The people of Florida strongly and wisely rejected efforts to make Florida the next front in the push to legalize marijuana nationwide.  I am proud that Florida voters saw this amendment for what it really was: a backdoor entrance for the full legalization of marijuana," the group said.

State lawmakers had passed a narrow medical marijuana law earlier this year to allow low-potency strains of the drug for certain patients.

But supporters of Amendment 2 argued a broader law was necessary to make medical marijuana available to people representing a broader group of illnesses.

Opponents prevailed with warnings the amendment was too loosely worded and would result in a system where marijuana was medical in name only.

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The measure crossed racial, economic and educational boundaries.  It appealed to voters from all racial and ethnic backgrounds, income levels and educational attainment.

Democrats and voters who identify as independent also supported the proposed amendment. The only voters who opposed legalizing medical marijuana were senior citizens and Republicans.

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In other Florida amendments, voters passed Amendment 1 - Conservation Program with 89 percent of the vote, but rejected Amendment 3 - Judicial Vacancies with 52 percent of the vote.

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