The Florida Supreme Court on Monday granted a request from state Attorney General Ashley Moody for more time to challenge a proposed ballot initiative to legalize cannabis in the state, Forbes reports. Moody now has until August 2 to submit her arguments that the proposal does not meet state requirements to be put on ballots.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Monday also filed a brief with the Supreme Court related to the cannabis ballot question, calling their handling of ballot initiatives an “acrobatic exercise,” WFLA reports.
Will Cooper, a constitutional attorney, told WFLA that the “ACLU is arguing that the Supreme Court now has a history over the last several years in Florida of striking down these initiatives.”
The brief points out that during the past five years, the court has struck from ballots four out of nine citizen initiatives it reviewed and declined to review one. In the five years prior, the court struck down zero citizen initiatives out of the seven it reviewed, the report says.
“If the Supreme Court really does want to let the people speak and get out of the business of striking these initiatives down and acted by the people of Florida, I think they certainly have a sufficient basis to let it stand.” — Cooper via WFLA
In her filing, Moody cited the ACLU brief as part of the reason for the extension request. Moody said the court accepted the ACLU brief two days after the deadline for such filings and that she has “just three business days to respond to the arguments in that brief,” according to the Forbes report.
Smart & Safe Florida, the organization behind the initiative, opposed the seven-day extension requested by the attorney general but agreed to a two-day delay. The Supreme Court, however, granted the full extension but said in its response that further requests for more time may not be approved.
If the Florida Supreme Court approves the ballot measure or does not issue a ruling by April 1, 2024, the proposal will likely appear on the 2024 General Election ballots. The measure, a proposed constitutional amendment, must receive support from at least 60% of voters to pass.
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