Florida’s recreational marijuana ballot measure will fail, governor says

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis blasted the recreational marijuana initiative that will appear on the state’s November ballot, calling it “radical” and predicting its failure on Election Day.

“They are very, very extreme,” DeSantis said of the cannabis proposal and an abortion-rights initiative that’s also on the November ballot, Miami TV station WFOR reported.

“Once voters figure out how radical both of those are, they’re going to fail.”

Speaking specifically about the adult-use marijuana initiative, DeSantis said, “It’s basically a license to have it anywhere you want.”

“So no time, place and manner restrictions” he continued.

“This state will start to smell like marijuana in our cities and towns.”

The governor’s comments came only a few days after the state’s Supreme Court ruled that the industry-funded ballot initiative meets state constitutional requirements.

That ruling resolved a saga that began in 2022, when Smart & Safe Florida started gathering signatures from registered voters in the state.

If passed by 60% of voters in November, Amendment 3 would allow adult-use sales at existing medical marijuana treatment centers.

Floridians 21 and older also may possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis for personal use, though home grows would be prohibited.

Reaching the 60% threshold is a high barrier – only Arizona, Maryland, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., have eclipsed that percentage, according to the Florida Phoenix, a Tallahassee-based nonprofit news outlet.

Polls have indicated mixed results, though industry insiders believe the measure will pass.

A January survey by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, which opposes the measure, indicated 57% support of adult use; a survey in late November by the University of North Florida showed 67% support.

Florida’s status as a key battleground state will only intensify in November.

Though polls show former President Donald Trump with a healthy advantage over incumbent President Joe Biden, the inclusion of marijuana and abortion-rights initiatives on the same ballot could be a X factor.

Last November, Ohio voters overwhelmingly supported two similar ballot initiatives in a special election: One legalized recreational marijuana cultivation and sales and the other, a constitutional amendment on abortion and reproductive rights.