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Florida Supreme court approves abortion rights and recreational marijuana to go on the ballot

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Florida’s Supreme Court on Monday approved both a recreational marijuana constitutional amendment, and an amendment to protect abortion rights for the November 2024 statewide ballot.

Amendment 3, will legalize the “non-medical personal use of marijuana products and marijuana accessories by an adult” 21 or older if approved by the voters. Constitutional amendments require a 60% approval rating to become law.

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To place a measure on the Florida ballot, proponents need to gather 891,523 signatures from citizens. Subsequently, the Supreme Court is required to determine if the language of the amendment is focused on a single topic and is not deceptive, a challenge that can be significant to meet.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has voiced objections to the proposed ballot initiative, arguing that it fails to meet the necessary criteria by being misleading.

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Moreover, she contends that it disproportionately benefits Trulieve, the state’s leading medical marijuana provider, which has financed a significant portion of the Smart & Safe Florida campaign.

Likewise, the court sided with Floridians Protecting Freedom, a coalition of abortion rights groups sponsoring the initiative. By approving the measure, the court dealt a serious blow to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and GOP Attorney General Ashley Moody, who opposed it.

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If approved, the proposal would modify the state’s existing 15-week prohibition, extending it to around 24 weeks, which is the point of viability when the fetus is capable of surviving outside the uterus.

The decision to let the abortion measure go on the Nov ballot was 4-3 – the decision to let the marijuana amendment on the ballot was 5-2

You can read the decisions below.

Opinion_SC2023-1392

Opinion_SC2023-0682

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