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Another Effort to Legalize Cannabis in Florida is Quickly Collecting Signatures for 2020

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It seems like there are several opportunities for Floridians to sign petitions to put cannabis legalization on the 2020 ballot. The latest petition recently started showing up in the mail of registered voters. A new activist group – Make it Legal Florida – has been mailing registered voters a pre-filled petition that contains their name, address and a return stamp to mail it back. All the voter has to do is sign the petition and stick it back in the mail. And it seems like this has been an effective method, as the group already has over 100,000 signatures in only 20 days

“The response has been absolutely tremendous,” said Nick Hansen, chairman of Make it Legal Florida, who has worked in politics for more than a decade. “I have never seen this level of interest from this number of voters across the state this quickly.”

The new group received permission to start collecting signatures on September 6th, and they have already likely gathered the needed 76,632 verified signatures that are required to trigger a Supreme Court review of their proposed amendment. Like others in the state, their initiative would allow adults 21 and older to purchase cannabis from licensed medical marijuana treatment centers, while requiring things like childproof packaging and banning advertising to anyone under the age of 21. 

The biggest difference with the Make it Legal Florida initiative – which stands a good chance of passing with money backing the campaign from medical cannabis brands like Surterra Wellness and MedMen – is the fact that they decided against allowing residents to grow their own cannabis at home. 

“We looked at home grow, and I think it’s something probably for the next chapter of the movement [in] Florida, but at this point, I don’t think it’s something we can get across the finish line at 60-plus [percent],” Hansen says.

Their reasoning is that it would not likely get Supreme Court approval, or the supermajority of 60 percent approval that would be needed to pass. However, Regulate Florida doesn’t seem to agree, as they included home growing and their initiative is currently under Supreme Court review

“Our whole goal is to give this plant back to the people,” said Michael Minardi, an attorney who is leading the Regulate Florida effort.

Whether this turns out to be cannabis legalization the way most in the state of Florida are hoping for or not, it seems like this group certainly has the funding necessary to reach the 2020 ballot, at the very least. If both initiatives make it to the 2020 ballot, voters will need to carefully look at each initiative and decide which one to vote for, or if they should vote for both, which could complicate things further if more than one amendment is passed.

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