In spite of the excitement that advocates had for legalizing recreational cannabis in Florida this year, it is not going to make it onto the 2020 ballot.
According to WFLA, as of Jan. 13, the bill has been officially postponed and won’t be appearing on the ballot this year.
“With the support of over 67 percent of Florida voters, Make it Legal Florida is proud to have gathered more than 700,000 signed petitions in the effort to bring adult-use cannabis to the Sunshine State,” the group said in a statement after the results were in, according to WFLA. “The narrow timeframe to submit and verify those signatures has prompted our committee to shift focus to now gain ballot access in 2022.”
In order to make it onto the ballot this year, the group was expected to raise more than $8.6 million, and they failed to do so and therefore won’t be able to make it. There was also a move to add a grow-your-own clause to ballot, but that initiative failed too.
“For me this is a liberty issue. We should give adult Floridians the freedom to make their own choices when it comes to cannabis,” said Sen. Jeff Brandes. “It’s not a matter of if, but when, Floridians will have access to adult use marijuana. This bill allows the legislature to lead on an issue a super majority of Floridians support.”
Despite all these setbacks, studies show that 61 percent of folks in Florida think cannabis should be legal to some degree. Some more liberal areas like Miami Beach have already decriminalized, although they also support public smoking bans, and much medical research is being done in the state.