By NAN Contributor
News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Tues. Nov. 8, 2016: It’s finally here – the much anticipated US Election Day of 2016. And while many Caribbean-born US voters in the state of Florida have already voted, those who have not have until 8 p.m. tonight to vote. But in this election, their ballot will not only have Presidential, congressional, and senatorial and state candidates, but also an amendment on Medical Marijuana.
Voters in the state must vote on Amendment 2 or ‘Use of Medical Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions.’
The Caribbean American Politically Active Citizens group in South Florida, founded by Dr. Marcia Magnus, is recommending all Caribbean born US voters to vote YES on Amendment 2. The recommendation comes as some Caribbean countries, including Jamaica, consider medical marijuana legalization in their nations.
A YES vote on Amendment 2 in the state of Florida would:
- Create “medical marijuana treatment centers” to cultivate and dispense drugs to certified patients or caregivers.
- Create a constitutional right for people with specific “debilitating” conditions – such as cancer, epilepsy, AIDS, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis – to use marijuana as long as a physician has certified they have one of the specified conditions;
- Permit caregivers to assist patients with marijuana treatments as long as that person possesses a caregiver identification card issued by the states. Caregivers must undergo a background check and are not allowed to use marijuana themselves.
- Require parental consent before a minor could be certified by a physician to receive medical marijuana.
- Require patients and caregivers to get a state-issued ID.
- Retain state and federal prohibitions on recreational marijuana use, as well as prohibitions on operating vehicles and boats while under the influence.
- Shield physicians from criminal or civil actions for issuing patient certifications.
The Caribbean American Politically Active Citizens group is also recommending Caribbean-Americans vote for the following candidates in the state of Florida:
PRESIDENT AND VP DEM: Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine
US SENATOR DEM: Patrick Murphy
US CONGRESS (D 20): DEM: Alcee Hastings
US CONGRESS (D 22): DEM: Ted Deutch
US CONGRESS (D 23): DEM: Debbie Wasserman Schultz
US CONGRESS (D 24): DEM: Frederica Wilson
US CONGRESS (D 25): DEM: Alina Valdes
US CONGRESS (D 26): DEM: Joe Garcia
US CONGRESS (D 27): REP: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
FL State Senator (D34): DEM: Gary Farmer
State Rep (D93): DEM: Ken Keechel
State Rep (D103): DEM: Ivette Gonzalez Petkovich
State Rep (D104): DEM: Rick Stark
State Rep (D105): DEM: Patricio Moreno
CLERK OF THE COURT: Brenda Forman
SHERIFF: Scott Israel
SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS: Brenda Snipes
Justice of the Supreme Court
Retain Justice Charles Canady YES
Retain Justice Jose Labarga YES
Retain Justice Ricky Poston YES
4th District Court of Appeal
Retain Judge Cory Ciklin YES
Retain Judge Dorian Damoorgian YES
Retain Judge Jonathan Gerber YES
Retain Judge Robert Gross YES
Retain Judge Stephen Levine YES
Retain Melanie May YES
Circuit Judge – 17th Judicial Circuit (Group 9): Lea Krauss
Circuit Judge – 17th Judicial Circuit (Group 15): Abby Rifkin
County Court Judge – Group 7: Ian Richards
County Court Judge – Group 14: Brad Peterson
County Commission District 3: Michael Udine
County Commission District 9: Dale V.C. Holness
Broward Soil & Water Conservation
District 3: Jelani Harvey
District 5: Fred Segal
South Broward Drainage District
Zone 6: Jack McCluskey
City of Lauderdale Lakes: Mayor Hazelle Rogers
City of Sunrise: Commissioner Mark Douglas.
The group has since 2000 developed Voters’ Guides to help Caribbean born US voters elect the better candidates who may promote the interests of Caribbean-American people in South Florida, and provide guidance on constitutional ballot amendments.
BOTH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES LOBBYING FOR CARIBBEAN VOTES
In Florida in this election, both Presidential hopefuls – Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – have focused their attention on South Florida’s Caribbean-American population
On Wednesday, November 2nd, Hillary Clinton made a surprise visit to Lauderhill, where there is a large Caribbean American population. She also made a pitch on local Haitian radio stations and newspapers catering to the Haitian community and visited Little Haiti on Saturday, Nov. 5th, to make a last minute appeals.
In September Donald Trump became the first presidential candidate to ever visit Little Haiti as he tried to woo Haitian voters angry with the Clintons’ over their treatment of Haiti.
On Monday, the Melo Groove Steel Orchestra treated Clinton volunteers in Wynwood Midtown Miami to some Caribbean rhythms ahead of the election today.
Caribbean American voters will also go to the polls in other states with significant Caribbean populations today. Many are expected to vote traditionally Democrat in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut as well as in Pennsylvania and D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Many Caribbean Diaspora nationals were using social media last night to urge each other to vote in the traditional “each one tell one” push.
Go to iwillvote.com if you still need help to find your precinct.
Data shows that Caribbean nationals from four nations in the region are more likely to be U.S. citizens than others. Cubans lead with over 1.1 million naturalized citizens followed by the Dominican Republic with 996,000 and Jamaica with 711,000. Haiti rounded out the grouping with 617,000.