Campaign begins to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Florida

This content was published on August 08, 2022 – 21:27

Miami, Aug 8 (EFE).- The group Smart & Safe Florida began a campaign on Monday to legalize the recreational use of cannabis in adults 21 years of age and older, in this state in the southeastern United States. Medical marijuana is legal.

The initiative wants to put to the vote in the 2024 elections an amendment to the state Constitution that opens the way for the recreational use of marijuana in adults, and for this they need to gather a minimum of 900,000 signatures in order to get it to appear on the ballots suffrage.

The petition was filed today with the Florida Division of Elections and has the support of the Florida country music duo The Bellamy Brothers, as well as the Trulieve company, the largest operator of medical marijuana in the state and which has contributed five million dollars to the campaign, according to local media.

The promoters of this campaign are hoping to have better luck than the two previous attempts, both launched last year but failed to get the green light from the state Supreme Court.

“Nearly half of all Americans legally enjoy the freedom to use recreational marijuana,” said the musical duo in a video released today and in which they showed their confidence that the initiative would go ahead, given that almost 75% of Florida voters approve of legalizing marijuana, they said.

The campaign’s website highlights that 19 states and the federal district of Washington have legalized “adult use of cannabis,” while lamenting that marijuana arrests “account for more than half of all drug arrests in the United States”.

“There is no evidence that the legalization of marijuana for medical or recreational use at the state level, as 37 states have already done, has promoted underage consumption in the regulated market,” the Smart & campaign adds on its website. Safe Florida.

It also stands out that violent crimes in the states where marijuana was legalized have decreased by 12.5%.

In the 2016 election, Florida voters approved legalizing marijuana for medical purposes through a constitutional amendment, a victory achieved after a loss in the 2014 election.

Approved by 71% of the votes, the measure entered into force in January 2017 and allows the use of cannabis for medical treatment of chronic pain or diseases such as Parkinson’s, glaucoma or HIV/AIDS, as well as to treat extreme anxiety. or post-traumatic stress disorders.

According to the Sun Sentinel newspaper, as of mid-April of this year, more than 700,000 people are listed in state records as authorized holders of a medical marijuana card.

Currently, a total of 37 US states have passed laws that allow the use of this substance for medical purposes. EFE

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