The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed “for misleading wording” a citizens’ initiative that sought to put the legalization of recreational marijuana on the ballot in 2022 in the state.
The query to Florida’s highest court had been formulated in 2019 by state Attorney General Ashley Moody, and today’s ruling concludes that, “because the ballot summary is affirmatively misleading,” the proposed constitutional amendment should not be on the ballot.
Voting 5-2, the Supreme Court justices’ decision holds that “the proposed ballot language stating that marijuana is ‘for limited use and cultivation by persons twenty-one years of age or older’ is misleading.”
In the 30-page document, the justices note that the amendment petition entitled “To regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol to establish age, licensing and other restrictions” is “clearly and conclusively flawed.”
The sponsor of this citizen initiative, Sensible Florida, had gathered only 29,000 of the more than 890,000 voter signatures needed to get its petition on the ballot.
Among the defects of form and substance pointed out by the Supreme Court is a “summary (of the ballot) that is inaccurate and falsely tells voters that the proposed amendment limits the use of recreational marijuana,” when in fact it “does no such thing,” so, the justices conclude, “it should not be placed on the ballot.”
The sponsor of the proposal, they add, offers “only weak arguments” when referring to its limited use.