Florida’s Supreme Court has thwarted marijuana activists’ efforts to legalize cannabis within the state, killing a measure that multiple state residents have already approved and pushing them to begin the process again if they intend to arrive at next year’s ballot.
During Thursday’s 5-2 ruling, the court concluded that the MILF (Make It Legal Florida) measure is unconstitutional, stating that the ballot reform’s conclusion is misleading since it asserts that recreational marijuana is legal across Florida without acknowledging that it would still be prohibited under state law.
This implies that activists would need to begin the process again, from crafting the reform to signature collection if they plan to reach 2022’s ballot.
The panel had already accumulated 556,059 legit signatures for the currently invalidated constitutional initiative. They required 891,589 signatures to table the measure before voters. Then a minimum of sixty percent of state residents would have been needed to advance it through a ballot vote.
The federal court reviewed the measure legally after being requested by Ashley Moody’s department (state attorney general) which later filed a brief opposing the authorization petition.
Most justices claimed in their verdict that their issue with the reform is its use of the term ‘permits’ in the ballot conclusion in affairs such as purchasing and possessing cannabis for recreational use. Since the measure does not acknowledge that such activities would remain prohibited under state law, they concluded the summary was misleading and unconstitutional.
However, two justices asserted in their dissenting view that the reform would merely apply to state law and not amend the jurisdiction’s statute by criminalizing cannabis.
The duo wrote that the court’s decision undermines federal voters and adds interference to the voter-initiative procedure that is not backed by the language of the current law or the justices’ precedent.