Florida AG Asks Supreme Court to Toss Cannabis Legalization Ballot Question

Florida’s attorney general asked the state Supreme Court to disqualify a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state, arguing the ballot summary is “misleading to voters.”

Full story after the jump.

Florida’s attorney general is asking the state Supreme Court to toss the proposed constitutional amendment to legalize cannabis for adult use in the state, arguing the ballot summary would be “misleading to voters in several key aspects,” The News Service of Florida reports. In the brief with the court, Attorney General Ashley Moody said that because cannabis remains illegal under federal law the ballot summary is “incorrect.” 

“…Voters need clear guidance before being asked to lift state-law penalties for the possession of a substance that would subject users to devastating criminal liability under federal law. And the rampant misinformation in the press and being peddled by the sponsor of this initiative about its effects makes clarity all the more pivotal.” — Moody, in the brief, via The News Service of Florida 

The campaign is led by Smart and Safe Florida but mostly funded by Trulieve, the state’s largest medical cannabis company which has contributed $39 million as of the end of May, according to the report.  

Smart & Safe Florida spokesman Steve Vancore told The News Service of Florida that the organization believes “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,” he said in the report. “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.” 

The Supreme Court also received briefs from the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Drug Free America Foundation opposing the measure. 

Lawyers for the Chamber contended that the proposal violates the single-subject requirement of ballot initiatives because it “impermissibly embraces the dual subjects of decriminalization and commercialization” of adult-use cannabis and the ballot title and summary “fail to disclose that the commercialization of recreational marijuana is a chief purpose of the proposed amendment – so much so that it would preclude adults 21 years of age or older from growing marijuana for their own personal use.” 

The issue has reached the state Supreme Court after the campaign gathered enough signatures to put the issue on 2024 ballots. 

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