TAMPA, Fla.(WFLA)— The group trying to get recreational marijuana on the 2024 ballot says they’ve got the number they need, but there are still big hurdles to make it happen.
The Smart & Safe campaign is blazing the trail for recreational weed use in Florida. The group has secured and verified over 1 million signatures to legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana.
That’s enough to get on the 2024 ballot, but the group has to get approval from the Florida supreme court first.
“I think it’s going to be a tough fight, and I think it could go either way,” constitutional attorney Will Cooper said. “The key is the Supreme Court in Florida. They have a history of being very aggressive and striking down these initiatives relating to marijuana use in Florida.”
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody already announced intentions to fight the proposed constitutional amendment.
In a statement, Moody’s communications director Kylie Mason said it’s essential Floridians know what they’re voting for.
”When voters decide whether to amend the Florida Constitution, it is essential that they know what they are voting for. It is the duty of our office to address the validity of an initiative petition before it appears on a ballot. It is incumbent upon us to inform the Court when a ballot summary misleads voters about the effects of the proposed constitutional change,” Mason said.
Smart & Safe officials pushed back with a statement of their own.
“With all due respect to the Attorney General, we disagree with her analysis. We believe the language as written clearly complies with the requirements of the Constitution. We look forward to bringing this matter to the Florida Supreme Court and are confident that the Court will conclude that there is no lawful basis to set aside the ballot initiative. This important issue should be entrusted to the citizens of Florida—over a million of whom have already signed the Smart & Safe Florida petition saying they support it—to decide for themselves through democratic choice,” said the Smart & Safe campaign’s spokesman, Steven Vancore. “If the Court decides it fails to meet any of the standards (single subject, clarity, statement of chief purpose, etc.) then there is no follow-up. It is done. Anyone wanting to bring adult use to Florida would have to start all over again.”
If the Florida Supreme Court does not rule by April 1, 2024 then the constitutional amendment will go on the ballot. However, in the past few years, they have ruled some time in either February or March on similar matters.
If it clears this hurdle in the Supreme Court, the use of recreational marijuana will be up to Florida voters who would need to approve the measure by over 60%.