Ballot initiatives to legalize cannabis in Florida have failed to gather the necessary signatures to be submitted to voters. The deadline was February 1.
To appear in the referendum next November, each proposed initiative had to cross two thresholds. First, each had to gather 222,898 signatures to be examined in committee. Then the measures must garner a total of 891,589 signatures to be put to the vote in November, if deemed constitutional by the state Supreme Court.
Of the three proposed initiatives, only one gained enough signatures to be reviewed, but state courts rejected the proposed amendment on legal grounds.
The other two attempts fell short of the number of signatures needed for voters to decide whether or not to legalize cannabis in Florida. In addition, several ballot proposals seeking to reform the state’s medical cannabis provisions have also failed to clear the hurdles required to be put to a vote.
Still a (thin) hope
Having failed to reach the required number of signatures, only the State of Florida can now bring a legalization project.
Currently, four legalization proposals are in the Florida Senate and House of Representatives. These four bills are divided between the two houses of the Florida legislature and, if passed, will not become law unless approved by the governor and the bills accompany are adopted.
But the proposals, which depend on each other, lack bipartisan support. Besides, due to the extremely polarized political climate in Florida’s legislature, it’s unclear if any of the bills can actually land on the governor’s desk. In addition, any measure adopted will still have to be signed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis who has so far refused to move towards legalization.
The candidates for his replacement are more interested in the subject.