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Updates and reaction: Recreational marijuana amendment approved for Florida ballot

The Florida Supreme Court on Monday approved a recreational marijuana constitutional amendment for the November 2024 statewide ballot, raising the stakes of an already-pivotal presidential election.

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The measure has widespread public approval, according to past polling.

It will take a least 60% of Floridians voting "yes" on the measure, Amendment 3, to make it the law of the land. So expect a slew of advertisements for and against the proposal in the coming months, and get ready to hear politicians and activists to mention it left and right.

Here's what people are already saying about the consequential ruling:

Florida attorney general sees 'uphill battle' ahead

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody fought to keep the recreational marijuana amendment off the ballot.

She did the same for another ballot measure the state Supreme Court approved Monday allowing Floridians to vote on whether to guarantee access to abortion.

After losing on both fronts Monday, she said that her team had "argued from the beginning that these two new constitutional initiatives will mislead voters."

"We maintain that it will be an uphill battle to educate them," she continued in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. "However, we respect the court’s decisions."

'Big win," says group leading amendment campaign

In celebratory posts on its social media accounts, Smart & Safe Florida, the group spearheading the campaign for the recreational marijuana amendment, called Monday's state Supreme Court decision a "big win for liberty and cannabis advocates."

"Our mission to empower adults to safely consume cannabis takes a leap forward as the ruling favors letting voters decide," it said in another post. "Let's make our voices heard!"

Florida Chamber of Commerce said measure shouldn't be in Constitution

Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, told Florida Politics that his team "respectfully" disagrees with the decision.

"The Florida Chamber will continue fighting to protect our constitution from out of state and special interests trying to buy their way into Florida’s Constitution," he said in a statement.

His organization has levied its influence against various initiatives for years: "Recreational drugs, like pigs, don’t belong in Florida’s constitution." He's referring to a decades-old amendment that banned confinement of pregnant pigs.

Florida's largest medical marijuana company applauds

Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers applauded the decision, saying in an email, "We look forward to supporting this campaign as it heads to the ballot this Fall."

Her company is the largest medical marijuana operator in Florida. It's contributed more than $40 million to Smart & Safe Florida, the group that's spearheaded the campaign for the amendment.

“We are thankful that the Court has correctly ruled the ballot initiative and summary language meets the standards for single subject and clarity," she said, referencing the standards amendments have to meet to pass state Supreme Court scrutiny.

House Speaker Renner disagrees with Supreme Court

In a press conference shortly after the ruling, Republican House Speaker Paul Renner said he didn't think there was a "critical need" for recreational marijuana, citing how the substance was already legal in Florida in the medical form.

He also accused the marijuana amendment of being overly broad, adding it was "to serve the self interest of those that are going to grow it and make billions and billions of dollars off of it."

That was likely a jab at Trulieve, Florida's largest medical marijuana operator, which has contributed the vast majority of the funds for the campaign to get the measure on the ballot.


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