Ron DeSantis predicts Florida voters will reject ‘radical’ ballot measures to protect abortion rights, legalize recreational weed
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 3/8/24-Gov. Ron DeSantis talks about the close of the 2024 Legislative Session during a news conference, Friday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

Will abortion and marijuana amendments get the needed 60%? The state's Chief Executive says not to count on it.

Florida’s Governor is sounding off about “radical” citizens initiatives approved for the ballot by the Supreme Court he selected.

Gov. Ron DeSantis isn’t holding back when it comes to initiatives that would legalize adult-use cannabis and would enshrine reproductive rights, repealing an abortion law that will ban the procedure after six weeks of gestation that takes effect next month.

“Once voters figure out how radical both of those are, they’re going to fail. They are very, very extreme,” DeSantis said in Davie.

Regarding the Adult Personal Use of Marijuana citizen initiative, which could expand the current retail model beyond medical necessity and allow visitors to the state and residents without qualifying conditions access to the product, the Governor offered blunt criticisms, suggesting voters would smoke out the allegedly misleading language on November’s ballot.

“Look at the weed one. For example, the weed one is not just decriminalized, it’s basically a license to have it anywhere you want. So no time, place and manner restrictions,” DeSantis contended, again misrepresenting the language in the citizens’ initiative. The Legislature would be permitted to enact laws consistent with the amendment, according to the language of the proposal.

As he has before, the Governor warned that increased access to the herb via Amendment 3 would cause Florida to “start to smell like marijuana in our cities and towns” and “reduce the quality of life.”

“Do we want to have more marijuana in our communities?”

If passed, people could hold three ounces of flower and up to five grams of concentrate.

Regarding the Floridians Protecting Freedom push to enshrine adult reproductive rights in the Constitution by prohibiting any law limiting the ability to obtain an abortion before fetal viability or in the case of maternal health necessity (Amendment 4 on the ballot), the Governor likewise cast aspersions on the “California abortion” measure.

Even in the wake of the state’s Heartbeat Protection Act being signed last year, as a presidential candidate, DeSantis suggested that when it came to state abortion laws, different strokes moved the world for “liberal” states like New Hampshire. But he doesn’t think Florida voters will in the end move to strike statist control of reproductive rights or cannabis consumption.

“I think Florida voters over the past, you know, four or five cycles have developed a skepticism on the amendments generally because they’re always written in ways that are confusing, you don’t necessarily know what the intent is going to be. So I think that there’s a certain segment of voters, they default, just vote no on these things because they know that these things, these things cost tens of millions of dollars to get on,” DeSantis said.

“So somebody is paying for that and somebody is going to benefit from that,” added DeSantis, who raised more than $81 million in surplus campaign funds in 2022 that got transferred to a federal super PAC the following year, which ended up spending $168 million on a campaign that competed in one state and won zero of its 99 counties.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Ocean Joe

    April 4, 2024 at 11:48 am

    They will both pass easily, notwithstanding the fascist blatherings of Desantis and Moody.

    • MH/Duuuval

      April 4, 2024 at 12:09 pm

      Maybe, but more likely there will be a massive voter suppression campaign amped up by MAGAs like Cord Byrd, Secretary of State, who is a QAnon adherent. Remember Katharine Harris in 2000? I am not optimistic — though I always vote.

      • Ocean Joe

        April 4, 2024 at 12:55 pm

        Even the yahoo Magas and the carpetbagging Villagers like to smoke, and on abortion women are women first.
        As for other matters on the ballot it’s still a red state and yes we’ll get saddled with medicare Rick again.

        • MH/Duuuval

          April 4, 2024 at 3:46 pm

          I’d say Rick is more vulnerable than ever since he had made it crystal clear he wants to trim entitlements including Social Security and Medicare. Rick can now do all the dance steps he knows or is capable of learning before Nov., but he is down with harming hard-working Americans.

          • Cheesy Floridian

            April 5, 2024 at 2:16 pm

            Rick Scott does not have my vote. And I believe others feel the same.

    • MH/Duuuval

      April 5, 2024 at 6:17 pm

      Percentage voting for reproductive rights referenda since 2022:
      Ohio, 57%
      KY, 53%
      Michigan, 56.7%
      CA, 66.9%
      VT, 76.8%

      Many states don’t provide for citizen initiatives.

  • Dont Say FLAq

    April 4, 2024 at 11:52 am

    If Rhonda predicts that, why did he pay Assley to try and keep them off the ballot?

    LOL @ Rhonda. Your slip is showing. AGAIN. Will you ever learn?

    Rhonda will never learn. Not unless balls and other guys are involved, just like those Ivy League college days that still carry such guilt for Rhonda that he lashes out constantly at people who accept who they are and accept life for what it is.

  • Dont Say FLA says Vote Early

    April 4, 2024 at 11:57 am

    And everybody remember to vote early, ’cause all the city and suburb precincts that might lean positive on these votes will be clogged AF come election day. 4+ hour waits even if you never waited 10 minutes before. I guarantee it.

    Don’t nobody claim you was surprised by the enormous line on voting day. Only the Jesus-y voting locations will have their usual short waits.

    City or near-city and definitely near-college locations will have the common multi-hour waits brought to voters by G0P Secretaries of States whenever they think some lefty thing might get voted for if it were left to the voters.

    The lines are manufactured via “precinct consolidation” and unless your precinct relocates (for the day, or forever) you don’t have to be told about the giant line created by OPP voters voting, special one day only, where you vote.

    • MH/Duuuval

      April 4, 2024 at 3:48 pm

      Even Florida Republicans acknowledge — behind DJT’s back — that voting by mail is the way to go; followed by early voting, and then for the reactionary element voting on Election Day. It’s all good, but MAGA voter suppression is already underway and coming to your neighorhood soon.

  • Phil Morton

    April 4, 2024 at 12:09 pm

    I predict both will pass with well over 70% of the vote. As for Ron DeSantis- It ain’t 2022 anymore and Chain Gang Charlie is not on the ballot.

    • Cheesy Floridian

      April 5, 2024 at 2:18 pm

      Nope. I think a lot more Democrats and Independents are going to show up to vote. People of florida like freedom. Without freedom, we would not have Florida Man. And DeSantis, his GOP puppet legislator have taken away to many freedoms and right’s and have attacked to many people. They need to go. I know DeSantis is not on the ballot I’m just saying that I think the GOP will have a much more tough time than they did in 2022

  • ScienceBLVR

    April 4, 2024 at 12:12 pm

    Take it from a teacher, people really are smarter than DeSantis and others of his ilk give them credit for.
    They simply choose to ignore inconvenient truths at times.. if Floridians supported voting rights for those with criminal records, they will surely support women rights and access to a wondrous plant.

    • Cheesy Floridian

      April 5, 2024 at 2:30 pm

      Here here!!! I agree with you. And back when the Medical Marijuana passed with 70% of the vote. And now if this passes you can buy it without having to go to the doctor and paying the state fees for the licenses.

  • In and Out Burgers

    April 4, 2024 at 12:14 pm

    What is the GOP obsession with wanted things going into people’s bodies and unwanted things going out of people’s bodies?

    Dear GOP. My body is mine. My body is not your body. You may not grab my body. Not physically. Not figuratively.

    When did the party of Nothing Burgers become the party of In and Out Burgers? And why? Why?

  • Michael K

    April 4, 2024 at 1:22 pm

    “I think Florida voters over the past, you know, four or five cycles have developed a skepticism on the amendments generally because they’re always written in ways that are confusing, you don’t necessarily know what the intent is going to be. So I think that there’s a certain segment of voters, they default, just vote no on these things because they know that these things, these things cost tens of millions of dollars to get on,” DeSantis said.

    Besides his poor grammar: no, Rhonda. You and your Republican authoritarian lackeys consistently ignore the will of the people. Nobody wants the new confederacy that Ron is peddling.

    Both measures will easily pass the 60% threshold.

    • Cheesy Floridian

      April 5, 2024 at 2:30 pm

      Thank you Michael. Very well said. Not DeSantis he can’t speak very well.

  • Taliban Ruler

    April 4, 2024 at 3:26 pm

    Does he know Nancy Sinatra song these boots are made for walking ??
    Ronda needs to take his White Boots and go to Afghanistan since he wants to rule women like the Taliban. Keep Walking

  • WGD

    April 4, 2024 at 6:11 pm

    So called conservatives like to throw around the word “radical” when it concerns an issue that doesn’t agree with their agenda. Taking away a constitutional right that had protected a woman’s right to choose for fifty years was a radical decision by an activist court. But they really hate it when you point that out.

  • Cheesy Floridian

    April 4, 2024 at 8:33 pm

    Am voting yes for the freedom to choose and yes for legal weed. And i know many others that will to. A good amount of republicans are in that group. I really really want DeSantis to be wrong

  • Jojo

    April 4, 2024 at 9:40 pm

    Our governor is residing in LaLa land if he thinks these amendments won’t pass overwhelmingly.
    As much as he doesn’t want to admit it, there are enough conservative women who want choice in what happens to their bodies and enough young people that will show up at the polls to pass the marajuan cannabis legalization amendment

    • MH/Duuuval

      April 4, 2024 at 10:35 pm

      I believe choice has a better chance of passing the 60% marker; but will these women go for pot, too?

      • Cheesy Floridian

        April 5, 2024 at 4:10 pm

        Yes please

  • Linwood Wright

    April 4, 2024 at 10:35 pm

    Neither are radical. They’re both common sense and very popular.

  • Brian Kelly

    April 5, 2024 at 6:14 am

    There is absolutely no doubt now that the majority of Americans want to completely legalize cannabis nationwide. Our numbers grow on a daily basis.

    The prohibitionist view on cannabis is the viewpoint of a minority and rapidly shrinking percentage of Americans. It is based upon decades of lies and propaganda.

    Each and every tired old lie they have propagated has been thoroughly proven false by both science and society.

    Their tired old rhetoric no longer holds any validity. The vast majority of Americans have seen through the sham of cannabis prohibition in this day and age. The number of prohibitionists left shrinks on a daily basis.

    With their credibility shattered, and their not so hidden agendas visible to a much wiser public, what’s left for a cannabis prohibitionist to do?

    Maybe, just come to terms with the fact that Cannabis Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think, and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

    Legalize Nationwide!…and Support All Cannabis Legalization Efforts!

  • Brian Kelly

    April 5, 2024 at 6:17 am

    Fear of Cannabis Legalization Nationwide is unfounded. Not based on any science or fact whatsoever. So please prohibitionists, we beg you to give your scare tactics, “Conspiracy Theories” and “Doomsday Scenarios” over the inevitable Legalization of Cannabis Nationwide a rest. Nobody is buying them anymore these days. Okay?

    Furthermore, if all prohibitionists get when they look into that nice, big and shiny crystal ball of theirs, while wondering about the future of cannabis legalization, is horror, doom, and despair, well then I suggest they return that thing as quickly as possible and reclaim the money they shelled out for it, since it’s obviously defective.

    The prohibition of cannabis has not decreased the supply nor the demand for cannabis at all. Not one single iota, and it never will. Just a huge and complete waste of our tax dollars to continue criminalizing citizens for choosing a natural, non-toxic, relatively benign plant proven to be much safer than alcohol.

    If prohibitionists are going to take it upon themselves to worry about “saving us all” from ourselves, then they need to start with the drug that causes more death and destruction than every other drug in the world COMBINED, which is alcohol!

    Why do prohibitionists feel the continued need to vilify and demonize cannabis when they could more wisely focus their efforts on a real, proven killer, alcohol, which again causes more destruction, violence, and death than all other drugs, COMBINED?

    Prohibitionists really should get their priorities straight and/or practice a little live and let live. They’ll live longer, happier, and healthier, with a lot less stress if they refrain from being bent on trying to control others through Draconian Cannabis Laws.

    • Cheesy Floridian

      April 5, 2024 at 4:10 pm

      Reefer madness

      • MH/Duuuval

        April 5, 2024 at 6:01 pm

        He’s bogartin’.

  • smells like teen spirit

    April 5, 2024 at 8:04 am

    Since when did personal freedom become “radical?” My Bible says that God put plants on Earth for humans to use and enjoy. My Bible doesn’t say that a woman can’t get an abortion if she chooses to do so. What’s radical is stacking the Florida courts with activists who don’t respect precedent. The Planned Parenthood opinion was a disgrace except that the dissenting opinion was reasonable. DeSatan is a loser. Vote the GOP out!

    • Cheesy Floridian

      April 5, 2024 at 4:11 pm

      Will do!

  • Kenneth L Gallaher

    April 5, 2024 at 11:00 am

    In state after state voters have voted by large amounts to protect abortion. That issue is a big loser for the CONS.

    • MH/Duuuval

      April 5, 2024 at 6:19 pm

      Percentage voting for reproductive rights referenda since 2022:
      Ohio, 57%
      KY, 53%
      Michigan, 56.7%

  • Biscuit

    April 5, 2024 at 12:43 pm

    Newsfart from Florida: Man who, two years ago, looked into the future and saw himself as the beloved darling of the GOP and clear choice for the GOP presidential nomination now looks into the future and sees two more hallucinations.

  • tom palmer

    April 5, 2024 at 5:14 pm

    Radical my ass. This is about the real free state of Florida.

Comments are closed.


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