A political committee in Florida known as Sensible Florida has started a push to get their initiative – known as “Regulate Florida” – on the 2016 ballot. Exact language has not been released yet, but the goal is to legalize and regulate marijuana sales and possession for all adults in the state.
If the measure makes the ballot, it may be right next to a medical marijuana measure from the group United for Care, the same group that came very close to legalizing medical cannabis in the state in 2014.
The chairman of the “Regulate Marijuana” group is Michael Minardi, the attorney who successfully defended Bob and Cathy Jordan after Bob was charged with growing marijuana to treat Cathy’s ALS. If the ballot measure makes it past the initial hurdles and gets to the signature gathering stage the group will need some 683,000 valid signatures to make next year’s ballot.
Barring some major financial backers, RF will have to raise some serious cash to get to the ballot. Florida is a big state that is heavily populated. It is also home to many people of advanced age, people who are normally not hospitable to the idea of cannabis legalization.
Florida NORML also backs the ballot measure, which has finished the draft process, according to reports. Details about the measure are expected to be released very soon, and it will likely contain certain limits on possession and purchasing, similar to states like Colorado and Washington.
Obviously marijuana legalization in Florida would be a major blow to prohibition forces. The southeastern part of the U.S. will likely be the last place for recreational legalization to reach, but that process could be sped up considerably if Florida passes one, or two, legalization measures in 2016.
The momentum behind the cannabis movement is immense. Now is the time to capitalize on it.