Recreational Marijuana Initiative Could Land in Florida's Ballot

Recreational Marijuana Initiative Could Land in Florida's Ballot

Senator Brandes' prediction on marijuana in Florida looks more true every day

Jim McCool
Jim McCool
|
August 8, 2022

Marijuana legalization has increasingly become more normalized across states.  Now, a new initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in 2024 has been launched in Florida.

The latest pot push, which would add a Florida Constitutional amendment to legalize recreational marijuana in Florida, is currently being backed by the state's biggest medical marijuana operator, Trulieve.

The effort has officially been launched on Monday, and Trulieve has already put up $5 million just to get the measure on the 2024 ballot.  The hypothetical amendment would allow adults over 21 years old, "to possess, purchase, or use marijuana products and marijuana accessories for non-medical personal consumption by smoking, ingestion, or otherwise."

If passed, Floridians would be entitled to access to recreational marijuana, but the state legislature would in theory be allowed to regulate the soon-to-be industry as they please.  The measure contains a provision that would allow—but not require—lawmakers to take steps toward the approval of additional businesses. Home cultivation by consumers would not be allowed under the proposal as drafted.

Conservatives in Florida have almost given up on holding the line on marijuana due to the substance's increasing popularity in recent years.  State Senator Jeff Brandes (R-FL) told The Floridian back in March of 2021 on marijuana legalization that, "It's gonna happen.  Whether it's on the ballot in 2022 or 2024, it's gonna happen."

Now over a year later, Brandes's prediction may come to fruition.

In 2019, Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) signed Sen. Brandes' bill into law that would permit Floridians to smoke medical marijuana.  Along with Democrat challenger Commissioner Nikki Fried (D-FL) being a user of marijuana herself, recreational marijuana has quite the shot at being legalized in the sunshine state.

Jim McCool

Jim McCool

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