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Florida Amendments

Photo by United States Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikipedia
Photo by United States Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikipedia

Aside from helping to give Donald Trump an unbelievable win, Florida voters also made some tough choices on four constitutional amendments.

Floridians rejected a solar amendment that critics dubbed a wolf in sheep's clothing after it failed to reach the required 60 percent threshold. Bankrolled by Florida's utility companies, Amendment 1 would have preserved the already existing rights of residents to own solar devices but claimed to ensure that customers who don't install solar equipment "are not required to subsidize" solar owners. Opponents said utility companies were just trying to protect their monopolies and put up barriers to potential solar options. The Miami Herald reported on an audio recording that caught a policy director for a Tallahassee-based think tank talking about ways the utility industry could mislead voters.

But Florida voters did approve an amendment regarding the use of medical marijuana for debilitating medical conditions by 71 percent. It allows patients with a number of medical conditions, including cancer, HIV, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and glaucoma, to purchase medical marijuana at state-controlled dispensaries after receiving prescriptions from licensed physicians. The amendment also limits the number of patients a caregiver can treat and requires minors to get parental consent and verification.

Amendments 3 and 5, two legislative initiatives regarding property tax exemptions for permanently disabled first responders hurt in the line of duty and low-income seniors, were overwhelmingly approved. Opponents call them a slippery slope toward granting the state Legislature powers reserved to the electorate, but the Sunshine State disagreed.