Again in 2016, Florida voters legalized medical marijuana by passing Modification 2 with an amazing widespread vote of 71%. Since then, the Sunshine State has taken a number of small steps ahead in its marijuana coverage, with leisure use decriminalized in lots of municipalities over the previous few years, together with Orlando, Miami-Dade, Tampa, and Key West.
Politicians in Tallahassee are making it ever-more troublesome for the folks to vote on their very own legal guidelines.
The following massive step is full adult-use legalization, which has traveled a bumpy street up to now in Florida.
In 2019, the advocacy group Make It Legal Florida failed to achieve sufficient signatures to qualify a measure for the 2020 poll.
Not like poll measures in lots of different states, Florida’s effort wasn’t executed in by the coronavirus shutdown. As an alternative, a hurriedly-passed regulation adopted by legislators in 2019 moved up the deadline required to show in signatures. (Leafly’s Dave Howard laid out the total story in a wild function, Florida, man: Why 2020 legalization failed in the Sunshine State.)
The combat for legalization within the state continues, nonetheless, as advocates plan to place the measure on the 2022 poll.
However now there’s a complication.
An modification to kill future amendments
There’s a measure on this yr’s Nov. 3 Florida poll that would decide whether or not legalization goes via in 2022, and surprisingly, it has nothing to do with marijuana use in any respect.
The measure, sponsored by a gaggle often known as Maintain Our Structure Clear, will seem on ballots as Modification 4 (you’ll be able to learn extra about it at Ballotpedia). The measure would make it tougher—if not almost unimaginable—for all future constitutional amendments to move.
Below Florida’s present system, if a constitutional modification will get accredited by 60 p.c of voters, it turns into regulation. Nevertheless, this new modification would require all future Florida constitutional measures to be re-approved by voters at a second common election.
That might imply that even when voters accredited leisure marijuana in 2022, the identical measure must be voted on once more in 2024 and move a second time to be signed into regulation.
Election 2020: All you need to know about cannabis legalization on the ballot
Vote now if you wish to legalize later
This is the reason it’s critical that supporters of legalization in Florida go vote within the 2020 election and vote “No” on Modification 4. Not solely would the passage of this modification introduce every kind of points round voter suppression (you’ll be able to learn extra on that side of the story at The Oracle) however its passage would make legalization in 2022 unimaginable.
Nick Hansen, the chairperson of Make it Authorized Florida, mentioned the group is doing the authorized groundwork to get the language for a 2022 legalization measure accredited.
If the wording is accepted, the following step for Make it Authorized will likely be getting 240,000 extra petitions gathered and authorized. Then 60% of Florida voters must approve the modification in 2022—if this yr’s Modification 4 is defeated.
2022 wanting good, except Modification 4 passes
Based on Hansen, the combat for adult-use legalization is in a superb place proper now. Make it Authorized Florida “hasn’t obtained a number of broad-based opposition proper now, and the governor has been understanding” up to now.
The profitable roll-out of dispensaries round Florida has executed so much to quell fears round dispensaries in neighborhoods, which was a key a part of the anti-medical legalization message in 2016. Public opinion within the state appears to be shifting in direction of a optimistic view of legalization, which might be nice information for 2022.
Nevertheless, all of that work might be undone if Modification 4 passes on Nov. 3.