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Moody brings pot ballot measure to Florida Supreme Court, signaling opposition

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
John Raoux
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Attorney General Ashley Moody formally submitted a proposed recreational marijuana ballot initiative to the Florida Supreme Court — and signaled she will argue that the proposal doesn’t meet legal requirements to go before voters in 2024.

The political committee Smart & Safe Florida is sponsoring the proposed constitutional amendment and has far exceeded the 222,881 petition signatures needed to trigger a crucial Supreme Court review.

After receiving notification from Secretary of State Cord Byrd last month, Moody took the step of seeking an opinion from the Supreme Court about the initiative.

The Supreme Court reviews issues such as whether proposed constitutional amendments are limited to single subjects and whether the proposed ballot language is clear.

In her filing, Moody wrote “the proposed amendment fails to meet the requirements” of part of state law, though she did not elaborate. She wrote that she will “present additional argument through briefing at the appropriate time.”

In addition to needing approval from the state Supreme Court, the Safe & Smart committee needs to total at least 891,523 validated petition signatures to put the measure on the November 2024 ballot. The state Division of Elections website listed 786,747 validated signatures as of Monday afternoon.

The “Adult Personal Use of Marijuana” proposal would allow people 21 or older “to possess, purchase or use marijuana products and marijuana accessories for nonmedical personal consumption by smoking, ingestion or otherwise.”

Florida voters in 2016 approved a constitutional amendment that broadly allowed medical marijuana.
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