May 14, 2021

Florida Supreme Court blocks effort to legalize marijuana

Those fighting for the legalization of recreational use of marijuana in the Sunshine State suffered a serious setback last week in what has been a high-profile campaign backed largely by the cannabis industry.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the Florida Supreme Court ruled in a 5-2 decision that a ballot initiative launched the “Make it Legal Florida” advocacy group was misleading in its language, a move that represents a major setback for those seeking to decriminalize relatively low-level marijuana use in the state.

The ballot proposal would have given Floridians the opportunity to determine whether state residents age 21 and older would be able to legally possess and use no more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana. Proponents of the measure to amend the state constitution sought its inclusion on the ballot in 2022 and had succeeded in raising $8.2 million in support of the effort and securing a substantial number of the signatures required, the Times noted.

However, five justices on the high court found that the way in which the word “permit” was used in the initiative’s language was problematic in that it did not provide sufficient explanation to prospective voters that while the proposal would legalize this type of marijuana use within Florida, it would not override existing federal prohibitions, according to The Hill.

Chief Justice Charles Canady explained the conundrum in the written opinion in the case, stating, “A constitutional amendment cannot unequivocally ‘permit’ or authorize conduct that is criminalized under federal law,” adding, “a ballot summary suggesting otherwise is affirmatively misleading.”

The Times reported that three of the high court’s justices appointed by GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis voted to strike the marijuana initiative, and the Republican state House and Senate filed briefs in the case in opposition to the measure. Florida medical marijuana advocate Ben Pollara expressed frustration with the outcome, saying, “Floridians would legalize marijuana tomorrow if given the opportunity to do so, but that’s clearly not what Tallahassee wants.”

By contrast, attitudes nationwide appear to be shifting on the issue, with no fewer than 17 states as well as the District of Columbia having already legalized use of marijuana for recreational purposes, as the Times noted, with 36 allowing its use for medical reasons. This is the case despite the fact that its use remains prohibited under federal statute.

Democrats in the U.S. Congress have also lent their voices to the cause of marijuana legalization, with Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer reinforcing on Tuesday his earlier calls for and end to federal criminalization of the drug, as NBC News reports. Expressing his hope that marijuana is legalized at the federal level by this time next year, Schumer opined that the war on drugs in America has “too often been a war on people, particularly people of color.”

Time will tell whether congressional Democrats will indeed spend political capital on the highly debatable priority of decriminalizing drug use, but in the meantime, legalization proponents in Florida will have no choice but to go back to the drawing board.

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20 Responses

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  3. How can Biden say we’re going to have a fantastic 3rd quarter? He probably will but we won’t after he’s taken AWAY OUR JOBS!!! How DARE him to even suggest that!!! He needs to be impeached along with Harris, Pelosi, Schumer, Schitts, Obama, and the rest of them idiots in the white house!!!

    1. Emyee,
      I have see the effects of Marijuana on some of our “leaders” in congress that use the stuff, no wonder they “dream up” such stupid ideas THEY want to put down on US.
      My answer to their radical idea that DO NOT make sense is “NO WAY, Jose”.

  4. A State that is using their heads Do not legalize Marijuana, this would just lead to more problems . Its hard to believe that many people in office think we need to legalize drugs , when many drugs can lead to death. Marijuana could lead to other drugs. Can you see people going to work High, driving a car, working around machines .This list could go on. I could see it being used for Medical use only.

  5. I live in the great emerald city of seattle and they voted to legalize drugs and the HUD building I live in is inindated with drugs I am waiting for one of these true believers to torch the building and I do not do drugs so now I will have to find a new abode

  6. I l8ve 8n CA and have sonce 1975. Prior to that O pived in my home syltate of Connecticut. Been a true
    “Californian ever since. I voted yes on the ballot measure prompting lehalization of marijuana for both medical and recreational use. I use marijuana myself for bpth medical and recreational purposes. I have long advpcated for the feds to.chamge the rehmgulation and make it legal. After all, it’s no worse than alcohol. Alcohol is legal, if you are of a certain age and gets taxed. Pot should be the same. Don’t make the taxtes exhobitant. Just tax the substance at a reasonable rate. No more than the state sales tax would be fair.

  7. People are writing about Biden saying we’ll have a fantastic third quarter. Lets see now. One thing sticks in my mind. Biden shut down the Keystone pipeline. He put many people out of work when he did it. Men who had gone to school then served apprenticeships in order to become welders, engineers, equipment operators, and of course many other professions that actually have little or nothing to do with pipeline work. All the equipment used on the pipeline is obviously just sitting rusting away. Then think of the money wasted on pipe and other material that’s also just sitting and rusting away. Then think of the fence on the southern border. All that stuff is just sitting there waiting for some Mexican cartel to steal it. Then again, there are the people whose jobs Biden cost there, also. I could go on and on about the waste Biden has already cost the people who belong in this country but I think the point is made. That guy is methodically destroying our once free nation. Welcome to communism. I sincerely hope those who voted for Biden are proud and happy with what they did to help destroy what was once a free country and a wonderful place to live,

    1. Thank you the facts of the matter. Another fact is the wind turbines are a bunch of accidents waiting to happen. Green new deal is a crock and the msm will hide the facts until it’s toolate.

  8. RE:
    “However, five justices on the high court found that the way in which the word “permit” was used in the initiative’s language was problematic in that it did not provide sufficient explanation to prospective voters that while the proposal would legalize this type of marijuana use within Florida, it would not override existing federal prohibitions, according to The Hill.”

    Sorry statists, but the Tenth Amendment can be invoked to do exactly that in this matter.

  9. TIME TO WAKE UP AND DEMAND CONGRESS IMPEACH BIDEN AND HARRIS!

    WE THE PEOPLE (aka SILENT MAJORITY) had countless opportunities to have stopped this nightmare, but we chose to give the DEMOCRATS what they expected of us, to REMAIN SILENT! Thus, making us equally complicit in the fraud perpetrated against United States Americans!

    Isn’t it time you actually did something, took action? How much more damage needs to be done?

    I urge everyone who reads this to PICK UP THE PHONE and call your REP AND SENATORS in DC and DEMAND IMMEDIATE IMPEACHMENT OF BIDEN AND HARRIS.

    BIDEN is completely UNFIT FOR OFFICE! Biden is guilty of 18 U.S. Code CHAPTER 115—TREASON, SEDITION, AND SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES.

    HARRIS is guilty of violating 18US Code 2381 Treason, 18 US Code 2382 Misprision of Treason, 18US Code 2383 Rebellion or Insurrection, 18 US Code 2384 Seditious Conspiracy and 18 US CODE 2385 Advocating Overthrow of Government!

    Then copy and paste this information into an E-Mail and send to friends and family asking them to make the calls, then forward on to their friends asking them to make the calls and forward on! WE NEED TO MAKE THIS GO VIRAL!

    Members of the House
    202-224-3841

    Members of the Senate
    202-224-3121

    TOLL FREE:
    866-272-6622

    Keep in mind: SILENCE = ACCEPTANCE

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  11. Marijuana is NOT safe! It impairs! 30% of users become addicted, including those who get the severe vomiting syndrome and repeatedly wind up in the ER. And they won’t give it up. Traffic accidents, mental illness, minors with learning limitations, and on and on. I had to deal with 2 potheads in Vietnam. It was ugly. A Vietnam vet friend of mine was using pot and wound up with multiple persistent health issues. The last time I saw him he finally was feeling good. Why? Because he said he quit using that crap!!!! Keep away from it!!!!

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