TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Legalizing recreational marijuana could be back on the ballot for Florida voters to consider in 2024, thanks to two proposed initiatives. So far, efforts to make non-medical marijuana legal in the Sunshine State have failed to gather enough support to make it to the ballot.
The initiatives were filed in September 2021 and August 2022, according to records from the Florida Division of Elections.
To get to the ballot, two hurdles must be reached, then cleared. Those checkpoints are a judicial and financial review requirement, which would need 222,898 signatures from Florida voters, and statewide signatures tallying 891,589 from voters.
So far, there are 53,675 signatures reported for the August 2022 proposal, pitched by Smart & Safe Florida, an organization in Tallahassee.
As proposed, if it makes it to ballot, Floridians 21 or older would be able to legally “possess, purchase, or use marijuana products and marijuana accessories for non-medical personal consumption by smoking, ingestion.”
Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers would also be able to “acquire, cultivate, process, manufacture, sell, and distribute such products and accessories,” in addition to other state licensed entities.
The less recently filed initiative, from Sensible Florida, Inc. has not gotten as many votes for either threshold. Both initiatives would need the nearly 223,000 signatures for judicial and financial review, as well as the more than 891,000 signatures statewide, to make it onto the 2024 ballot.
August’s initiative from Smart & Safe Florida has received some celebrity endorsement, launching with a video from country musicians the Bellamy Brothers showing their support.
Legally speaking, neither threshold being reached means recreational marijuana would be legalized, only that it would be down to the voters to decide in the next big election. To pass into law, once on the ballot, 60% of Florida voters would need to vote “yes” in November 2024.