Florida’s Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments on Wednesday as to whether a bill proposing adult-use cannabis legalisation should be included on the 2024 ballot.
As Business of Cannabis reported last month, the Adult Personal Use of Marijuana amendment was put forward by Smart & Safe Florida earlier this year, and successfully collected enough valid signatures to qualify for a 2024 general election ballot placement.
However, the proposals have already received significant pushback from the state’s Governor Ron DeSantis, and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, who sought to stop the bill in its tracks at Wednesday’s hearing.
Much of the arguments levelled against the bill centred around the language of the bill, which they claimed failed to make clear that cannabis was still federally illegal.
This argument did not appear to break through, with one of the seven justices present, Justice Charles G. Canady, stating he was ‘baffled by the argument’, Politico reported.
The Tallahassee Democrat similarly reported that justices seemed ‘sceptical’ of the criticism laid out against the bill, despite five of the seven justices being appointed by Gov. DeSantis.
Chief Justice Carlos Muniz is also understood to have pushed back against this argument, arguing that it was unreasonable to expect sponsors to write ‘convoluted’ explanations of licensing requirements, which will enable the states already established medical cannabis centres to begin selling for recreational purposes.
While there is no solid date set for a decision on whether this bill will appear on next year’s ballot, the Supreme Court has until April 1 to put forward a decision. If no decision is made by that time, the measure will be cleared to appear on the ballot.