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Florida Court OKs Vote On Legalizing Recreational Pot

Florida Supreme Court justices on Monday approved ballot language for a constitutional amendment that will ask voters in November whether they want to legalize recreational cannabis for adults 21 or older, News From The States reports. The measure must get 60% approval to become law, the nation's highest threshold for any ballot measure. The official ballot summary “allows adults 21 years or older to possess, purchase, or use marijuana products and marijuana accessories for non-medical personal consumption by smoking, ingestion, or otherwise,” and allows Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers, and other state licensed entities “to acquire, cultivate, process, manufacture, sell and distribute such products and accessories.” The Supreme Court stated, “Our role is narrow—we assess only whether the amendment conforms to the constitutionally mandated single-subject requirement, whether the ballot summary meets the statutory standard for clarity, and whether the amendment is facially invalid under the federa lconstitution. In light of those limited considerations, we approve the proposed amendment for placement on the ballot.”

The justices voted 5-2 in support of putting the amendment on the ballot, with Justices Charles Canady, John Curiel, Jamie Grosshans, Carlos Muniz and Jorge Labarga concurring. Justices Renatha Francis and Meredith Sasso dissented. The proposed amendment was fiercely opposed by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, who claimed in a legal filing that the initiative “misleads voters in several key aspects.” Gov. Ron DeSantis, who predicted in January that the court would put the proposal on the ballot, criticized the measure as having “the broadest language I’ve ever seen.” The Florida Supreme Court is the final decision-maker determining whether a proposed constitutional amendment makes it on the ballot. Once a measure gathers enough signatures to qualify, the court is charged with determining that the language that will appear on the ballot is clear and limited to a single subject. It can reject measures that don’t meet legal standards, which happened in 2021 with a proposed constitutional amendment regarding the legalization of recreational cannabis.


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