ACLU joins court fight over Florida recreational marijuana legalization

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Florida voters won’t see recreational marijuana legalization on their ballots until November 2024 at the earliest, but the battle over whether voters even have the choice is heating up.

This week, according to Tampa TV station WFLA, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a brief at the Florida Supreme Court in support of the measure.

Florida’s high court is where state Attorney General Ashley Moody is attempting to have the adult-use measure invalidated.

At Moody’s request, the state Supreme Court this week granted her office extra time to file a brief arguing why the measure should be declared unconstitutional, as Marijuana Moment first reported.

Arguments are now due Aug. 2.

Moody has argued that the measure is written so ambiguously that voters won’t know what they’re supporting.

But the ACLU pointed out that, over the past five years, the Florida Supreme Court struck from the ballot four of the nine initiatives it reviewed.

That’s compared with zero invalidations by the state’s high court in seven reviews over the previous five years.

The Smart & Safe Florida initiative, funded by Florida-based multistate operator Trulieve Cannabis to the tune of $39 million and counting, would legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older.

The initiative would also create the basic framework for a legal adult-use industry, and existing medical marijuana operators such as Trulieve would enjoy an early competitive advantage.

The legalization campaign in June submitted more than enough valid signatures from registered voters to qualify the measure for the November 2024 ballot.