In recent days, you might have seen a new face sitting in the Lyceum breezeway at the Tarpon Springs campus. Peter Velousis is an employee for Morgan & Morgan and is at SPC for a specific purpose: medical marijuana.
Many know that in 2014, there was a proposed amendment that would legalize medical marijuana in the state of Florida. The amendment required a 60% voter favorability but hit just shy of that mark with 57% of the voters in favor of legalizing marijuana for medical use. Voters were stunned that, despite having over 50% of voters in favor of legalization, the amendment failed. Some attribute the failure to low voter turnout last year. In order to put the vote on the ballot for next year’s big 2016 election, official petitions must be submitted, which will allow Florida voters a second chance at voicing their opinion.
In order to give medical marijuana a place on next year’s ballot, Velousis is at SPC’s Tarpon campus with the official petition and hopes to gather signatures. Although Velousis is not in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana, he is a supporter of medical marijuana. He believes that there is sufficient evidence to prove that medical marijuana is a better alternative for ailments than narcotics or chemicals. According to Velousis, medical marijuana can help people with nervous system problems, epilepsy, glaucoma, and even cancer. It can assist with sleeping problems and increase one’s appetite; it has been used by both the young and the old in beneficial ways.
In just four days, Peter Velousis has accumulated close to 100 signatures from SPC students and staff. During the signing process, many students voiced positive opinions about medical marijuana. Some students say that those against medical marijuana are misinformed about its benefits.
In addition, there were many students who wanted to sign the petition but could not because they were not registered voters. In order to sign the petition and participate in the vote next year, one must be a registered voter in the state of Florida. Velousis was shocked by how many young people were not registered to vote and has encouraged students to go to their local DMV so they can vote on important legislation like this one. An easy way for students to get registered to vote is to complete the process online. SPC students have access to TurboVote, which is a free service that takes the hassle out of voting.
If you are a registered voter and wish to sign the petition, you can find Peter Velousis sitting in the Lyceum breezeway from 9am – 4pm, Mon – Thurs. It is uncertain how long Velousis will be at SPC collecting signatures. He could potentially be at SPC until January, but those plans could change, so if you wish to sign the petition, don’t hesitate! Act now!
Peter Velousis wishes students to know that “Florida is going to belong to the youth and the older people are passing the torch,” so it’s up to the youth of Florida to use their voice to achieve the things they want.