Florida: Supreme Court Strikes Down Second Proposed Legalization Ballot Measure

Tallahassee, FL: For the second time in the span of two months, Florida Supreme Court justices have thrown out a citizens-initiated ballot initiative that sought to legalize the adult use of marijuana. 

In both instances, a majority of the court determined that proposed ballot language was misleading. Florida’s Attorney General’s office had petitioned the Court to preemptively review both initiatives and had filed legal briefs opposing them. 

In May, justices invalidated a proposed initiative because it did not specify in its summary that marijuana possession would continue to be a federal offense even if voters legalized it in the state of Florida. Proponents of the ballot measure had gathered over one-half million signatures in favor of the proposal prior to the Court’s ruling. 

This month, justices struck down a separate ballot proposal. In this case, the court took issue with language in the proposal’s summary acknowledging that the initiative provides for the “limited use” of marijuana. Justices determined that this language was misleading because the full text of the initiative failed to provide for explicit limits on the “use” of marijuana. 

An estimated six-in-ten Florida voters support legalizing cannabis for adults, according to polling data compiled earlier this year. 

For more information, contact Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Manager.