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Ashley Moody opposes another weed legalization initiative.


Ashley Moody argues against pot legalization initiative

It can’t be legal, she says, because of federal ban.

For the second time in a year, Attorney General Ashley Moody stands in opposition to a citizen-led cannabis legalization push.

The first-term Republican on Thursday filed a petition with the Florida Supreme Court, opposing the Make It Legal Florida citizens’ initiative.

Her position: that federal illegality means that adults will not be “permitted” to “possess, use, and buy marijuana.”

A release from her office notes that “using and possessing the drug is and will still be a crime under federal law. Federal penalties for possessing the Schedule 1 Controlled Substance are and will remain significant.”

Moody believes, therefore, that the ballot initiative is misleading.

“Facts matter. Before Florida voters are asked to make critical changes to our state constitution, those facts should be made clear. That’s why, by law, any citizen initiative seeking to amend the state constitution must offer voters a summary explaining the legal effect of that amendment — painting a full picture of the important choice voters are asked to make. This initiative suggests to voters that their vote will allow for conduct that will remain illegal with significant penalties,” Moody urged.

Though federal law enforcement typically isn’t tasked with low-level possession cases, it is clear that Moody’s office is the avatar of caution in this matter.

The initiative would permit those 21 and older to possess 2.5 ounces of cannabis and accessories. expanding the scope of medical marijuana treatment centers to recreational sales. Public use of the herb would not be permitted.

The industry-backed cannabis campaign is well-capitalized, with nearly $3.8 million banked as of November’s end.

It currently has 190,000-plus verified signatures, with more waiting to be verified; the threshold for ballot access is 766,200.

The Make It Legal Florida opposition represents AG Moody’s second hit at the marijuana movement.

Back in September, she came out against the Sensible Florida amendment, which would have allowed homegrown herb.

There, she objected to the proposal’s “sheer length and ambiguous language.”

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at

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