TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A group calling itself “Sensible Florida” is back with a new constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana on the 2022 ballot.
It comes after the state Supreme Court threw two amendments off the ballot.
Because of the previous decisions, the latest effort is simple; it just allows people to grow their own.
Eighteen states, two territories, and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana.
Sensible Florida filed its new amendment in mid-September. It also raised $121,000 during the month.
Organizer Michael Minardi said the money was used to mail petitions to voters.
“Well over 466,000 petitions were sent out, and we’ll be launching another mail campaign within the next couple weeks,” said Minardi.
Unlike past efforts that have run afoul of the state Supreme Court over terms like ‘limiting use’ or not telling voters marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, this effort simply allows adults to grow up to nine plants or a max of 18 per household.
“This is ultimately for the benefit of the people because it allows them to take their health and wellness back into their hands. It allows them to be able to not be afraid of getting arrested,” said Minardi.
In the past, marijuana amendments have been opposed in court by the Florida Chamber.
“If this latest paid petition proposal achieves the required signatures for judicial review, the Florida Chamber’s Litigation & Regulatory Reform Center will review its available options to keep Florida, Florida, and ensure efforts to utilize ballot initiatives to circumvent the appropriate legislative process are unsuccessful,” said Mark Wilson, CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
Minardi believes just one to three percent will actually grow their own marijuana, but this amendment doesn’t set up a retail market.
Creating that retail market would be up to the Legislature.
“You know, really, this helps a lot of patients that have trouble affording medication, even having trouble affording doctors as well, as exploring opening up the market to legal sales,” said Minardi.
The campaign is on a short timetable.
So far it has no verified signatures, and it needs more than 891,000 by the first of February.