Florida is Trying to Put Recreational Cannabis on the Ballot in 2024

    Florida cannabis reform activists are gathering signatures on a petition to put a recreational cannabis legalization bill up for election in the 2024 election. The petition, which is being organized by Safe and Smart Florida, has gathered nearly 300,000 signatures so far. If it reaches the minimum threshold of 891,589, Safe and Smart’s petition to add an amendment legalizing recreational cannabis to the state’s constitution. 

    Even though the Safe and Smart act needs nearly 600,000 more signatures to get on the official ballot, the fact that it’s gained nearly 300,000 has already allowed the measure to clear a significant legal hurdle. Florida law requires proposals such as this to gain at least 220,000 signatures to qualify for review by the state’s supreme court. Florida’s supreme court, which has already rejected two similar measures in the past, will review the language of the current legislation. 

    Cannabis in Florida is illegal for recreational use. Possession of up to 20 grams (3⁄4 oz) is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $1000, and the suspension of one’s driver’s license.

    This proposal would allow people over 21 in Florida to “to possess, purchase, or use marijuana products and marijuana accessories for non-medical personal consumption by smoking, ingestion, or otherwise.” It is the culmination of a long effort by Floridians to reform the state’s cannabis laws. 

    For most of its history, Florida has been known as one of the most reliably conservative states in the country. However, the rising tide of cannabis reform is on the verge of changing the face of the sunshine state. It’s been a long road. 

    In 2014, Florida legalized medical cannabis, but only for cannabis with reduced potency and use was restricted to people suffering from cancer or epilepsy. Then, in 2016, Florida passed the Right to Try Act and the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative. These laws removed the potency cap on the original 2014 law and expanded the medical conditions under which people could use medical cannabis. 

    Persons 21 and older with a qualifying medical condition can purchase or smoke medical marijuana.

    If the Safe and Smart Act’s language is approved by the Supreme Court, the bill’s supporters can advance the bill via a ballot initiative, in the 2024 election. Because it’s an amendment to the state’s constitution, the Safe and Smart Act will need approval from 60% of Florida’s voters to become law. Supporters of the amendment are confident that this time, they have written the bill in such a way that it will gain court approval. 

    It is illegal for individuals and businesses to grow marijuana. However, state-licensed cultivators may grow marijuana in Florida.

    If the bill is passed, Florida would become one of the first southern states to approve recreational cannabis. As we’ve said many times when reviewing proposals like the Safe and Smart Act in conservative states, legislation such as this was considered a fantasy or a pipe dream only 20 years ago. G13Mag will watch this space in the hope Florida continues the march towards legalization. 

    G13 Club is a private social club for medical and recreational cannabis users based in Barcelona. It is also a space for musical and artistic development that promotes a multitude of activities focused on the expression and exhibition of urban, hip hop, reggae and skate culture.

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