‘Make it Legal’ adult-use pot initiative already has 100K signatures

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That's enough, if verified, to qualify the ballot language for judicial review.

Make it Legal Florida, which is behind a proposed state constitutional amendment to legalize the adult use of marijuana, now says it has more than 100,000 petition signatures in its first 20 days of its campaign.

The political committee announced the number Thursday. The ballot question to approve the amendment is aiming for placement on the 2020 statewide ballot.

If those signatures are all later verified, that more than covers the number needed for judicial review of the ballot language.

“We are blown away by the support of Florida voters, but our efforts are just getting started,” Make it Legal Florida Chair Nick Hansen said in a statement. “Make it Legal Florida will continue the fight for what Florida voters clearly want— regulated adult use marijuana for those 21 and up.

“We’ll continue to remain focused on our efforts, and feel confident that we will meet the goals and deadlines required by the state.”

Marijuana, however, is still essentially illegal under federal law. The federal Controlled Substances Act classifies cannabis in the same group of drugs as fentanyl and its derivatives, heroin, LSD, morphine, mescaline, and others — those that have a “high potential for abuse” and “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.”

Nonetheless, Make It Legal mailed petitions to prequalified voters last week to boost participation and support. A poll conducted for the group found 67 percent of Floridians support recreational cannabis.

In addition to the mailed petitions, Make It Legal has also hired petition gatherers and has a form available online to download.

Make It Legal’s amendment is the strictest legalization effort underway in the state. It would require cannabis sales to occur within already existing medical marijuana dispensaries and it would block advertising that caters to kids.

The group has another hurdle to overcome: The amendment needs 766,200 valid signatures for ballot placement.

Make it Legal is sending its signed petitions to county supervisors of elections, then it takes about 30 days for the petitions to be received by the state’s Division of Elections.

The proposed amendment would allow adults 21 and older in Florida to purchase cannabis for any reason from current and future licensed and regulated Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers, as long as the product is in childproof packaging and not advertised to anyone younger than 21.

Another adult-use initiative by the group Sensible Florida would regulate cannabis similarly to alcohol while a Floridians For Freedom effort would simply deregulate the drug with the only stipulation being that adults don’t sell it to minors.

Make It Legal has already brought in more than $1 million to further its signature-gathering and outreach efforts. Meantime, Sensible Florida – behind what’s known as the “Regulate” initiative – has raised $180,000. Floridians For Freedom has raised just $22,000.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]


8 comments

  • gary

    October 3, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    NO!

    You want it legal…move to states that already are circling the drain with legal use.

    • workingman

      October 4, 2019 at 3:22 pm

      WRONG FLA voters will demand safe legal access to cannabis-NOT from the black market

    • John Thomas

      October 4, 2019 at 5:21 pm

      Only in your fevered “brain.” — Research shows the residents in the Legal States remain happy with their new status, crime is down and property values are UP! – Find a new group to hate.

  • John Thomas

    October 4, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    From the article:

    >>>”We are blown away by the support of Florida voters,”

    Never mind the majority of Florida voters support HOME GROWING, right? — You’re just going to shove that down our throats.

    Here’s a promise. — We will CONTINUE to fight for our right to grow this near harmless plant. – I suggest you not fight against Floridians on this. You will lose, if not now, then very soon.

  • Jerry Turner

    October 6, 2019 at 8:56 am

    An excruciating long process of getting what a large majority want. Many politicos still remain opposed, mostly Conservatives, who need to remove the sticks from you know where. Worst case scenario, at least decriminalize small amounts. Meanwhile, gambling, alcohol and tobacco continue to ruin lives in a more potent and destructive manner. Wake up Florida!

    • John Thomas

      October 6, 2019 at 7:45 pm

      Long process is right! – I’ve been waiting for the end of the American Inquisition since 1977, when President Jimmy Carter said to congress:

      “Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself; and where they are, they should be changed. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against possession of marijuana in private for personal use… Therefore, I support legislation amending Federal law to eliminate all Federal criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana.”

  • Cory

    October 7, 2019 at 2:16 am

    100,000 signatures in 20 days is fast, but it may not be fast enough.

    This article was published on October 3, with 121 days remaining until the February 1 deadline. With 5,000 signatures a day, that would suggest the campaign is on pace to collect 600,000 more signatures, for a total of 700,000.

    Even though the campaign needs 766,000 valid signatures, the campaign really needs 1.15 million signatures to be safe, since ballot initiatives generally have 15-50% of signatures tossed out for being invalid. If only 15% are invalidated, the campaign needs 880,900 to break even.

  • John Thomas

    October 7, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    In the future, all voting, and petition signing, will be electronic and people will just do it from their phones.

Comments are closed.


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