Despite DeSantis, Florida Supreme Court Schedules Hearing On 2024 Marijuana Ballot Initiative

The Florida Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Nov. 8 to decide whether a marijuana legalization initiative will appear on the state’s 2024 ballot.

The citizen-led initiative could lead to a constitutional amendment for voter consideration, with legalization in effect as soon as May 2025 if 60% or more of voters approve.

Titled "Adult Personal Use of Marijuana," the initiative would allow non-medical use of cannabis and prohibit any law subjecting use to criminal liability or civil sanctions. It would also clear all licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers in the state to start making and selling recreational cannabis products.

"With upcoming oral arguments, we want to restate the fact that the language was drafted very conservatively and with the guidance of this very court.  We anticipate that the court will stick to its deferential standard of review and will agree that the language strictly adheres to the law and the Florida constitution and will give the voters the opportunity to vote on this subject," Steve Vancore, a spokesperson for Smart & Safe Florida, the political committee sponsoring the initiative, told the publication Florida Politics.

Kim Rivers, CEO of Trulieve Cannabis TCNNF, told the publication: "We look forward to the Smart & Safe campaign presenting its case to the Florida Supreme Court.  We hope the court will ignore the political rhetoric, stick to the law and give Floridians the opportunity to vote on this important initiative," according to Florida Politics.

If the amendment makes it to the ballot, which is likely, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody will no doubt oppose it.

AG Moody has argued the ballot initiative is misleading because it does not mention that marijuana would remain federally illegal even if Florida legalized it.

DeSantis, who once had a liberal view on the topic of legalization, has taken a far more extremist position now that he is running for president, adopting a full-tilt “Reefer Madness” approach.

"We have medical in our Constitution, we have medical marijuana, we enforce that, you know, we abide by it, but to take action now to make it even more available, I would not do that," DeSantis said in Iowa this summer, adding that legalization in Colorado has only expanded the "black market."

Photo courtesy of NORML.

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Posted In: CannabisPoliticsTop StoriesMarketsCannabis legalization FloridaFloridaKim RiversRon DeSantis
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