The Florida Supreme Court killed a ballot initiative against the people’s will — both Democrats and Republicans in favor of the initiative.
TALLAHASSEE — A majority of the Florida Supreme Court ruled against a citizen-initiated ballot measure in favor of legalizing marijuana in the very conservative state of Florida.
According to local and trade media reports, a ballot initiative proposed by Make It Legal Florida was found to be “misleading” the court ruled.
On 5 to 2 difference, the ruling came after conservative Attorney General Ashley Moody asked the seven-judge high court panel whether the proposal is suitable for a future ballot.
Make It Legal’s proposal would have allowed voters across Florida to decide whether to permit residents to purchase recreational marijuana in a regulated setting for those who are 21 years or older.
The proposal would also permit 2.5 ounces of marijuana.
The initiative is also backed by the Florida medical marijuana industry which raised $8.2 million for the effort.
They also gathered more than half a million signatures out of the 891,589 needed for the measure to make the 2022 ballot.
“A [state] constitutional amendment cannot unequivocally ‘permit’ or authorize conduct that is criminalized under federal law,” wrote Chief Justice Charles Canady in his concurring opinion. “A ballot summary suggesting otherwise is affirmatively misleading.”
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed three justices that voted against the initiative. The Florida House and Senate, dominated by Republicans, also filed briefs opposing the initiative. Seemingly, a coordinated effort to some observers.
“Today’s decision underestimates Florida voters and adds hurdles to the citizen-initiative process that are not supported by the plain language of the governing law or our precedent,” the two opposing justices wrote.
Ben Pollara, a political operator, and marijuana industry advocate told the Tampa Bay Times that the court decision was a bad move.
“Floridians would legalize marijuana tomorrow if given the opportunity to do so, but that’s clearly not what Tallahassee wants,” Pollara said in a statement to the Times.
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