On April 22, the Florida Supreme Court rejected an initiative promoted by the growing marijuana production industry, which proposed holding a statewide referendum to allow people to vote on the legalization of recreational marijuana. The court argued that the format would prove “misleading” to voters.
In a 5-2 decision, the Court justices ruled that a referendum initiative could mislead voters and lead them to make unwanted decisions. The ruling came after Republican Solicitor General Ashley Moody asked the judges to report whether the potential constitutional initiative would be suitable for a future ballot, the Miami Herald reported.
The proposal came from a group known as Make It Legal but backed by Florida’s burgeoning medical marijuana production industry who has a strong interest in making its use legal on a massive scale to generate even more profits at the expense of the health of the U.S. citizens.
Make It Legal had raised $8.2 million for the effort. It had also gathered more than 556,000 signatures of the 891,589 needed to get the measure on the 2022 ballot.
Had it made the ballot, the initiative would have needed 60% of the vote to be added to the state constitution. Should it want to hold a future signature gathering, Make It Legal Florida would have to rewrite the amendment and start from scratch, the court ruled.
The proposed initiative, sponsored by Make it Legal Florida and titled “Adult Use of Marijuana,” would have left it up to voters to decide whether or not to legalize Floridians 21 and older to possess, use, purchase, display and transport up to 700 grams of marijuana and paraphernalia for personal use for any reason.
It would also allow Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers to sell, distribute or dispense marijuana and marijuana accessories if they are clearly labeled and in child-resistant packaging to adults.
Cannabis is a drug whose possession, cultivation, or sale remains illegal under federal law. People who ingest marijuana experience effects that can range from relaxation to panic. The effects come from tetrahydrocannabinol and other chemicals in marijuana.
The 2019 U.S. physician general, Jerome Adams, highlighted the risk to adolescents and pregnant women, primarily, according to a report issued by the nation’s Health and Safety Service (HHS) on August 29, 2019, under the Trump administration.
The report states, “The risks of physical dependence, addiction, and other negative consequences increase with exposure to high concentrations of THC and the younger the age of initiation. Higher doses of THC are more likely to produce anxiety, agitation, paranoia, and psychosis.”
“These harms are costly to individuals and to our society, impacting mental health and educational achievement and raising the risks of addiction and misuse of other substances,” the report adds.
Regarding the legal issue, the report also makes an interesting clarification: “In addition to the health risks posed by marijuana use, sale or possession of marijuana remains illegal under federal law notwithstanding some state laws to the contrary.”
The Florida Supreme Court’s decision comes as leftist Democrats in New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and New Mexico have moved to legalize recreational marijuana.