Florida Supreme Court to Hold Hearing on Marijuana Legalization Initiative on November 8

The Florida Supreme Court will hold a hearing Wednesday, November 8 to decide whether or not an initiative to legalize marijuana will be placed on next year’s general election ballot.

In June the Florida Division of Elections confirmed that the Smart & Safe Florida campaign submitted 967,528 validated signatures on their marijuana legalization initiative, well more than the 891,523 signatures required to put the measure to a vote of the people. However, the state’s attorney general is attempting to block the proposal from being considered, arguing that the ballot summary is “misleading”.

Now, the Florida Supreme Court will take up with the issue. Oral arguments are set to begin on November 8 for case number SC2023-0682, with the court set to decide whether or not voters can consider the measure during the 2024 election, or if the initiative language is invalid, requiring proponents to go back to the drawing board and recollect the necessary signatures.

The proposed initiative would allow those 21 and older “to possess, purchase, or use marijuana products and marijuana accessories for non-medical personal consumption by smoking, ingestion, or otherwise.” Licensed marijuana retail outlets would be allowed to distribute the plant, with any of the state’s licensed medical-marijuana dispensaries allowed to “acquire, cultivate, process, manufacture, sell and distribute such products and accessories.”

As a constitutional amendment, the initiative would need the support of 60% of the state’s voters to be approved.

According to polling released earlier this year and conducted by the University of South Florida and Florida Atlantic University, 60% of registered Florida voters support legalizing marijuana, including 50% of Republicans. Support for Democrats was the highest at 71%, with 59% of independents supporting the move.

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