Florida’s High Court again says no to the cannabis nomination

A second citizen-led petition to legalize adult cannabis for adults in Florida broke the dust on June 17 when the state Supreme Court ruled that the words “limited use” were misleading.

The initiative, titled “Regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol, to set age, licenses and other restrictions” was aimed at the 2022 vote and included provisions for home-growing – up to six mature cannabis plants per household member 21 and older Years.

But in a 5-2 ruling last week, the Florida Supreme Court rejected the proposed constitutional amendment, stating that it was “clearly and clearly flawed” and failed to meet certain clarity requirements set out in Section 101.161 of the Florida Bylaws.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody first asked the court in September 2019 to provide an opinion on the validity of the nomination. It took almost two years for the court to weigh up.

“Opponents object to the wording in the vote summary, which says that the proposed amendment would regulate marijuana ‘for limited use and cultivation by people aged 21 and over,’” said Judges Charles Canady and Ricky Polston in the majority opinion. “They claim that the text of the proposed amendment does not itself restrict personal ‘use’ of marijuana and that the vote summary is therefore clearly misleading voters. Do we agree? “

Canady and Polston also said, “The vote summary clearly tells voters that the proposed change[s]’Personal use – that is, consumption – of recreational marijuana by people of appropriate age. But the proposed change itself does not. “

The initiative petition, sponsored by Sensible Florida Inc., had 28,983 signatures of the 891,589 signatures – or just 3.2% – to make the vote, according to the Florida Division of Elections. Had it got to the vote, the proposed change would have required approval from at least 60% of voters.

This was the second adult cannabis legalization initiative that the Florida Supreme Court rejected in three months. In April, the court ruled in another 5-2 ruling that a hopeful election by Make it Legal in Florida would have misled voters by failing to disclose that cannabis was still illegal under federal law.

In his dissenting opinion on the recent ruling, Judge Alan Lawson said that the majority analyzed the ballot summary correctly, but failed to properly analyze the ballot summary and ballot title together, which is required, according to an earlier court ruling, to determine whether the ballot information is properly informing inform the voters.

“The change itself describes the way marijuana use will be regulated in a manner similar to Florida’s current alcohol regulations,” Lawson said. “Therefore, when the title and abstract are read together, ‘limited use’ could also be understood as a reference to the provisions disclosed in the aptly descriptive title.”

After two adult cannabis use initiatives were put down, legalization has yet to be made – a Floridians for Freedom-sponsored nomination entitled “Adult Right to Cannabis”. Currently this initiative has only 2,292 signatures (of 891,589 required). In its summary, the proposal reveals that cannabis would remain illegal at the federal level.

But Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed a bill, the Senate Act of 1890, which imposes a limit of $ 3,000 per person on contributions to any political group that supports or opposes a proposed constitutional amendment initiative while the signatures are collected become. Once enough signatures have been collected and a proposal for voting has been approved, unlimited contributions are allowed. The new law is due to come into force on July 1st.

According to the Miami Herald, Sensible Florida had raised about $ 271,000 before the Supreme Court withdrew its initiative last week. Most of the money would not have been allowed under the new law.

As Floridians for Freedom pushes its initiative, proponents believe they should be freed from the financial constraints the new law places on the signature collection process since their initiative was first approved in 2015, reported WJHG-TV, a CBS affiliate in Panama City, Florida.

The signature deadline is February 1st, 2022.

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