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Supreme Court Approves Florida’s 2024 Ballot to Include Recreational Weed

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The Florida Supreme Court approved the inclusion of recreational marijuana on the state’s 2024 ballot in a landmark ruling. This action follows a heated discussion over a proposed constitutional amendment that would have allowed adults over 21 to consume marijuana for non-medical purposes.

The amendment’s authorized ballot language includes clauses that eliminate criminal or civil consequences for anybody in possession of and using up to three ounces of marijuana for personal recreational use. In order to become a law, the amendment needs to receive at least 60% of the vote in Florida during the November elections.

The conservative-majority Supreme Court decided 5-2 in support of the proposed amendment’s inclusion on the ballot, rejecting concerns from Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, who said that the proposal’s language could mislead voters because marijuana is prohibited at the federal level.

Justices Charles Canady, Jorge Labarga, and John Couriel, who comprised the majority of the court, highlighted that the ballot summary unambiguously declares that adult personal possession and consumption of marijuana is now lawful in Florida.

The initiative’s supporters, led by the organization Smart & Safe Florida, applauded the court’s ruling and expressed satisfaction that it satisfied the requirements of clarity and a single issue. Notably, Trulieve, a well-known cannabis corporation, has contributed around $40 million to the campaign, making it a significant financial backer.

Still, there is resistance from people like Governor Ron DeSantis. DeSantis expressed reservations about the amendment’s wide reach, pointing out that he might have trouble controlling public consumption, which could be detrimental to people’s quality of life.

Voters would have the option to pass the amendment, which would enable anybody 21 years of age or older to buy marijuana products from authorized medical marijuana distributors six months after the election. Moreover, it would open the door for the Florida Legislature to license businesses other than the current medical marijuana treatment facilities to cultivate, manufacture, sell, and distribute marijuana products.

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