Last year’s midterm election cycle proved to be a rarity in Florida in multiple ways. Historic wins for Republicans. Historic losses for Florida’s proposed constitutional amendments. For the first time since 1978, no proposed constitutional amendments received the required 60% support required to pass. It was also the first time in a long time that no citizen led initiatives qualified for the ballot. While we're a long way from knowing what will happen in November of 2024, we do know that there will be at least two proposed constitutional amendments on 2024 ballots as the Florida Legislature approved the Florida Partisan School Board Elections Amendment and the Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment. Those two may soon be joined by a third. The Florida Marijuana Legalization Initiative.
Last week, Trulieve, Florida’s largest marijuana operator, said their ballot initiative (they’re the financial backing for the Smart & Safe Florida PAC leading the effort) attempting to place recreational marijuana legalization on next year’s ballot has collected enough verified signatures to advance to the next step of the process for ballot inclusion. Next up is a review by Florida’s Supreme Court. 891,523 signatures are needed for citizen led measures for the 2024 cycle. Trulieve said they now have greater than 965,000. Under the proposal as currently written, those 21 years and older would be able to possess, purchase or use marijuana products recreationally.
It remains to be seen how Florida’s Supreme Court will react to this proposal. The State of Florida currently opposes the proposal on the basis of marijuana remaining a schedule one drug according to the federal government. This would mean that any effort to “legalize” recreational marijuana in Florida would run counter to federal law. Though, this is already the case with medicinal marijuana in Florida after being adopted by voters as a constitutional amendment last decade. Stay tuned!
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