Lawmakers in Florida appear to be getting more progressive when it comes to cannabis-related issues. Recently, Governor Ron DeSantis gave lawmakers the chance to reverse the ban on smoking medical marijuana, and now a Senator has introduced a resolution that would add a new section to the state constitution making cannabis legal – if it is approved by voters.
“I think if we just go straight to the people and ask them, ‘is this something that you want,’ it puts the onus back on us to regulate it,” Bracy told Marijuana Moment in a phone interview. “I think it’s such a controversial issue that the legislature is not in a position to agree on how it should be regulated. The best way to do it is to go through the people and then it will come back to us to figure out how to regulate it.”
The amendment itself is simple and would legalize the use, possession and cultivation of cannabis for all adults 21 and older, while leaving it up to the legislature to regulate commercial sales. Interestingly, the wording is very similar to a petition for a constitutional amendment being circulated by a group called Floridians for Freedom – who have the same goal of making cannabis use legal under state law.
“This right may not be infringed, except that the transfer of cannabis by purchase or sale may be regulated by law as necessary to ensure public health and safety,” reads the measure, which would apply to adults over 21 years of age.
If the resolution is approved by the Senate and the House, then it would be put to voters during the 2020 general election – and it stands a good chance of passing. After medical marijuana was passed with a landslide vote, polls have shown that more and more people are in favor of full legalization. For anything to pass there needs to be a 60 percent super majority in favor; luckily, polls find that 65 percent of Florida voters are in favor of legalization over criminalization and prohibition.
“I’ve always thought the people are more progressive on this issue than the legislature is and I believe they are ready for legalization of marijuana. Whenever I hear from folks, it’s always a resounding ‘yes.’”
Considering the fact that there are at least three different petitions circulating in the state with the goal of seeing cannabis legalized in 2020, Senator Bracy is right – the people are far more progressive on this issue. If it weren’t for voters, Florida wouldn’t have medical marijuana access. And if voters are given the opportunity to be heard on cannabis for adult use, then chances are the Sunshine State will be seeing recreational legalization in the near future.