Days before dropping out of the race for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was asked about a recreational cannabis initiative making it onto the ballot in 2024.
“I think the court is going to approve that, so it’ll be on the ballot,” the governor said in reply to cannabis lobbyist Don Murphy at his last campaign event in New Hampshire before bowing out of the race on Friday, reported Marijuana Moment.
This statement comes amid a legal battle between legalization advocates and Florida’s Attorney General Ashley Moody, who has been doing her best to prevent the initiative from reaching the ballot. Moody’s efforts to invalidate the measure have been ongoing, despite nearly one million signatures gathered by activists.
While Gov. DeSantis has been a critic of marijuana reform and opposed federal decriminalization during his presidential campaign, he acknowledged that Florida voters should have the opportunity to voice their opinion on this issue. The state Supreme Court, which heard arguments against the initiative last November, is expected to decide by April 1.
Last week, while still on the campaign trail, DeSantis also addressed the federal gun ban for state-legal marijuana consumers, questioning its constitutionality. This comes in the wake of a lawsuit against the Biden administration over the rule, initiated by Florida’s former agriculture commissioner, Nikki Fried.
In terms of public opinion and cannabis legalization, a recent Florida Chamber of Commerce poll revealed majority support for the initiative among likely voters, though it falls short of the state’s 60 percent threshold for passage. However, other polls, such as one by the University of North Florida, indicate stronger support, with 67 percent of voters backing the proposal.
If passed, the measure would amend the state Constitution to permit existing medical cannabis companies to sell marijuana to adults over 21. This change, while not allowing home cultivation, would enable adults to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis, with a cap on concentrate products.
The legalization campaign has been heavily funded by multi-state marijuana company Trulieve Cannabis Corp TCNNF, which faces accusations from the Attorney General of attempting to dominate the state’s cannabis market.