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Bondi not challenging marijuana amendment

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Though continuing to express concerns about a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana, Attorney General Pam Bondi is not challenging the wording of the ballot initiative.

The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments Dec. 8 before deciding whether to approve the initiative's wording, a key step as supporters seek to get the issue on the November 2016 ballot.

Bondi fought a similar 2014 initiative at the Supreme Court, but justices allowed the measure to go before voters. Ultimately, the 2014 initiative failed to pass.

People United for Medical Marijuana, a political committee backing the legalization effort, tweaked the proposed 2016 ballot language to address concerns raised about the 2014 measure.

In a statement released by her office Monday, Bondi pointed to the 2014 ruling by the Supreme Court and indicated she would not challenge the revised initiative.

"Voters reviewed the language and at the polls made their decision that the (2014) amendment was bad for Florida,'' Bondi said. "Based on the court's decision in 2014, I have not filed a legal challenge to the current amendment, but my concerns with it are the same."

If the Supreme Court approves the wording, supporters of the amendment will need to submit 683,149 valid petition signatures to get on next year's ballot. They had submitted 346,804 as of Monday evening, according to the state Division of Elections website.