October 2, 2023

Florida recreational marijuana drive to get Supreme Court review

TALLAHASSEE — Attorney General Ashley Moody on Monday formally submitted a proposed recreational-marijuana ballot initiative to the Florida Supreme Court, and she signaled she will argue that the proposal doesn’t meet legal requirements to go before voters in 2024.

The political committee Smart & Safe Florida is sponsoring the proposed constitutional amendment and has far exceeded the 222,881 petition signatures needed to trigger a crucial Supreme Court review.

After receiving notification from Secretary of State Cord Byrd last month, Moody on Monday took the step of seeking an opinion from the Supreme Court about the initiative. The Supreme Court reviews issues such as whether proposed constitutional amendments are limited to single subjects and whether the proposed ballot language is clear.

In her filing Monday, Moody wrote that she thinks “the proposed amendment fails to meet the requirements” of part of state law, though she did not elaborate. She wrote that she will “present additional argument through briefing at the appropriate time.”

In addition to needing approval from the Supreme Court, the Safe & Smart committee needs to total at least 891,523 validated petition signatures to put the measure on the November 2024 ballot. The state Division of Elections website listed 786,747 validated signatures as of Monday afternoon.

The “Adult Personal Use of Marijuana” proposal would allow people 21 or older “to possess, purchase, or use marijuana products and marijuana accessories for non-medical personal consumption by smoking, ingestion, or otherwise.”

Florida voters in 2016 approved a constitutional amendment that broadly allowed medical marijuana.

Two previous attempts to legalize recreational marijuana through constitutional amendments were blocked by the state Supreme Court in 2021.

Tags: News Service of Florida

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