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Making It Legal in Florida

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The state of Florida has received considerable coverage here at The Marijuana Times, and for several reasons. The battle over medical marijuana that has taken place in the state in the last several years has been quite contentious at times, with delays and lawsuits being the norm. And next year is a Presidential election year in which the state will be a focal point of the worldwide media, all while two large groups attempt to place adult-use legalization on the ballot.

One of those groups is Make It Legal Florida. According to their website, the measure would permit “adults 21 years or older to possess, use, purchase, display, and transport up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and marijuana accessories for personal use for any reason.” It would also allow “Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers to sell, distribute, or dispense marijuana and marijuana accessories if clearly labeled and in childproof packaging to adults.”

With less than three months to get 766,000+ valid signatures, Make It Legal is sure they can get their measure on the ballot. “To date, the Make it Legal Florida ballot initiative has more than 91,000 verified signatures,” Nick Hansen, Chairman of the organization, told The Marijuana Times. “This milestone means the ballot effort will now undergo a judicial and financial impact review. Make it Legal Florida’s statewide effort has gathered a total of nearly 390,000 signatures to date— with more than 300,000 signatures currently being shipped to Supervisors of Elections around the state for verification. The Supervisors of Elections have 30 days to verify a petition once received. We are confident we will meet the deadline to make it on Florida’s ballot.”

Make It Legal Florida is well-funded, with the vast majority of their donations coming from Surterra Holdings Inc. (now Parallel) and from MM Enterprises USA, LLC (MedMen). This has allowed them to mail petitions across the state as well as get signature-gatherers out from one end of Florida to the other.

There have been some grumblings about Make It Legal’s measure lacking a home-growing provision; for their part, MIL has said they feel such a provision would hamper their ability to get the measure passed with 60% of the vote.

And Florida seems like a state that is poised to approve adult-use legalization, despite the added hurdle of needing 60% of the vote. “What we are seeing is Florida voters across party lines overwhelmingly support adult-use legalization,” Nick told us. “In June, a Quinnipiac poll showed bipartisan support for adult use. A poll conducted in July by Fabrizio, Lee & Associates commissioned by Make it Legal Florida showed that 67% of likely Florida voters support adult-use marijuana. And more recently in October, a University of North Florida poll released showed 64% of Florida voters supporting adult use.”

As I’ve said before, a win for adult-use cannabis in Florida next year is not only important for residents of the state, but it is also important for cannabis activists across the country. While legalization in most of the remaining states will have to make slow progress through the state legislatures, Florida is one of the last big states where voters will have a chance to have a direct voice. If you live in Florida, now is the time to make your voice heard.

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