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Recreational Marijuana Legalization Heads to the Florida Ballot

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Florida may end up being the 25th state to legalize recreational marijuana. On April 1, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that Amendment 3 will be on November’s ballot. Floridians will then have the chance to vote on whether they want recreational marijuana use to be legalized in their state.

The Florida Division of Elections lists Amendment 3 on their website. The amendment outlines that adults can purchase marijuana for non-medical reasons, giving legal possession amounts for adults. Medical marijuana use in the state was passed back in 2016 by 71 percent of voters.

The amendment summary states that it allows “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; allows Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers, and other state-licensed entities, to acquire, cultivate, process, manufacture, sell, and distribute such products and accessories.”

The amendment text states the possession amount that people can have is up to three ounces of marijuana and not more than five grams of marijuana in its concentrated form.

The Florida Supreme Court stated its decision in its advisory opinion to the attorney general: “Our role is narrow — we assess only whether the amendment conforms to the constitutionally mandated single-subject requirement, whether the ballot summary meets the statutory standard for clarity, and whether the amendment is facially invalid under the federal constitution. In light of those limited considerations, we approve the proposed amendment for placement on the ballot.”

Smart and Safe Florida political committee is the amendment’s sponsor. To get their initiative on the ballot, they needed to reach the state’s required number of 891,523. Smart and Safe Florida collected over 1 million signatures and raised over 40 million dollars.

A statement on Smart and Safe Florida’s website after the Florida Supreme Court’s decision reads, “We are pleased that the Court agreed that the ballot language was clear and correctly ruled in favor of allowing voters the chance to vote on this important initiative. We look forward to bringing our message of allowing adults to safely use cannabis for their own personal consumption to the voters of this state.”

According to Florida’s Division of Elections, when Floridians start to cast their votes, the amendment will need a 60 percent approval rate by voters to become effective.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is against the amendment being placed on the ballot. In August 2023, Moody replied to the Florida Supreme Court. In the reply, she stated, “This carefully curated ballot summary misleads in ways that, though sometimes subtle, are likely to influence voters — and to do so in a way that entrenches the Sponsor’s monopolistic stranglehold on the marijuana market to the detriment of Floridians. The initiative should be stricken.”

24 other states have passed the recreational use of marijuana. If this amendment passes with the 60 percent needed by voters, the amendment will become effective six months after the approval.

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Kaitlyn is a media and communication studies student from Florida State University. She is also pursuing a minor in journalism from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. This is Kaitlyn's first semester at Her Campus FSU! Kaitlyn is interning at Tallahassee Woman Magazine. She previously interned for News4Jax in Jacksonville, Florida. Kaitlyn's career goal is to become a broadcast journalist. She enjoys being able to tell stories from the local community. Kaitlyn grew up in Sarasota, Florida, and Melbourne, Florida. Kaitlyn loves thrifting, fashion, working out, and going on trips with her family and friends.