Florida Court OK’s Canna Initiative

On April 1, 2024, the Florida Supreme Court gave the green light to a ballot initiative to legalize adult-use marijuana. The court’s 5-2 opinion, penned by Justice Grosshans, brings an end years of judicial hairsplitting that saw earlier legalization proposals derailed. At long last, Florida voters will have their say on whether recreational marijuana should be legal in the Sunshine State.

As Justice Grosshans explained, the court’s role was limited to assessing “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.” With regard to the first consideration, the court found that the initiative’s components “have a natural and logical connection,” hence meeting the single-subject requirement.

The court then turned to the ballot initiative summary, which must use “clear and unambiguous language.” According to the summary, the proposed amendment “allows Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers, and other state licensed entities” (emphasis added) to sell marijuana. Opponents of the initiative argued that this language is misleading, as it would suggest that “other state licensed entities” would immediately be allowed to sell marijuana, when in fact they would have to undergo licensure.

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