FL A.G. Moody opposes recreational pot ballot measure

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Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody opposes a ballot initiative that would allow the recreational use of cannabis in Florida.

The Make It Legal Florida campaign wants to put a proposed state constitutional amendment on the November 2020 ballot that, if approved by at least 60 percent of the voters, would allow adults aged 21 or older to purchase and use marijuana.

In a written statement released Thursday, the Republican attorney general said she must oppose the ballot measure because it does not clearly explain that, while the constitutional amendment would allow the use of cannabis in Florida, the activity would remain illegal under federal law.

“This initiative suggests to voters that their vote will allow for conduct that will remain illegal with significant penalties,” Moody said.

Other initiatives seeking to allow the use of marijuana in Florida have explained that the measures applied “only to Florida law” and would not “immunize violations of federal law,” Moody said.

“Unlike those prior initiatives, this initiative completely omits the illegality of this conduct under federal law. Given this oversight, the Attorney General’s Office must oppose placement of this new proposed amendment on the ballot,” she said.

The Make It Legal campaign had collected 191,361 validated voter signatures as of Friday, according to the state Division of Elections. But the group will need at least 766,200 validated signatures by Feb. 1 to qualify for the November 2020 general election ballot.

However, Make It Legal has collected enough signatures to allow the Florida Supreme Court to review the amendment and its ballot language. As part of that review, Moody will raise her legal objections to the proposal.

Here is a Florida Phoenix story on the Make It Legal campaign.

Another group, Regulate Florida, announced earlier this month it was dropping its effort to put another recreational cannabis constitutional amendment on the 2020 ballot.

Florida voters, through a ballot initiative, approved the use of medical marijuana in 2016.