Marijuana Plant

Florida’s Marijuana Legalization Measure Tops $5.2 Million From Backers

Marijuana Plant
Marijuana Plant (File)

Florida voters will decide on a significant ballot measure this November that could legalize recreational marijuana in the state.

The proposed amendment, titled “Adult Personal Use of Marijuana,” would allow adults 21 and older to possess, purchase, and use marijuana for non-medical purposes.

The Smart & Safe Florida political committee, which is leading the campaign to pass the measure, raised $5.226 million during the period of April 1 through May 31, according to a finance report posted Monday on the state Division of Elections website.

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The majority of the money, $5 million, came from Trulieve, the largest medical marijuana company in the state. As of May 31, the Smart & Safe Florida committee had about $13.59 million in cash on hand.

The proposed constitutional amendment, which will appear on the November ballot as Amendment 3, says, in part, that it would allow “adults 21 years or older to possess, purchase, or use marijuana products and marijuana accessories for non-medical personal consumption by smoking, ingestion, or otherwise.”

If approved, Florida would become the 22nd state in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana.

Key Points of the Amendment:

  • Legalization: Adults 21 and older could legally possess up to three ounces of marijuana for personal use.
  • Distribution: Existing medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTCs) would be authorized to sell marijuana to adults, and the state legislature could license additional entities for cultivation and distribution.
  • Regulation: The amendment does not address home cultivation or social consumption lounges.
  • Implementation: The measure would take effect if approved by 60% of voters in the November election.

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Supporters and Opponents:

The campaign supporting the amendment, “Smart & Safe Florida,” has received substantial financial backing from Trulieve, the state’s largest medical marijuana company. They argue that legalization would generate tax revenue, create jobs, and reduce law enforcement costs associated with marijuana-related offenses.

Opponents, including Governor Ron DeSantis, express concerns about the potential impact on public health and safety, particularly among young people. They also raise concerns about the lack of provisions for social equity and the potential for increased marijuana use among vulnerable populations.

Public Opinion:

Recent polls show that a majority of Floridians support legalizing recreational marijuana. However, the issue remains divisive, with strong opinions on both sides.

The outcome of the November vote will likely depend on voter turnout and the effectiveness of each side’s campaign messaging.

The Road Ahead:

The upcoming election will be a pivotal moment for marijuana policy in Florida. The outcome will have far-reaching implications for the state’s economy, public health, and criminal justice system.

Regardless of the result, the debate surrounding marijuana legalization is likely to continue in the years to come.

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