Florida recreational marijuana advocates are on the move to get an initiative on the 2016 ballot that would give residents the chance to vote on legalizing pot and regulating the drug like alcohol, Broward New Times reported. The Florida Cannabis Act would allow anyone over age 21 to purchase and possess up to an ounce of marijuana.
A corporation called Sensible Florida and an associated group called Regulate Florida began to collect signatures for a proposed amendment to the state constitution after the Florida Division of Elections authorized the team to do so this summer. Attorneys Michael Mirandi and Bill Wohlsifer are behind the team and have joined forces with marijuana activist Karen Goldstein to push for the ballot initiative.
“Realistically, it gives adults the choice to use cannabis for whatever and whenever they want,” Minardi told New Times. “It doesn’t allow for driving while on cannabis; it limits the age to 21 -- much like the way alcohol is sold and regulated. It creates a licenses-regulated system of distribution to make sure we have the safety of the products and safety for consumers as a priority, much like they do in Colorado. Whenever any kind of product is regulated, it makes sure people are getting a safe product.”
The amendment also proposes that if marijuana becomes legal, adults would be able to grow up to six cannabis plants in their homes. Florida residents can visit the group's website to download and sign the petition.
But previous marijuana legalization legislation efforts have not fared well in Florida. Voters struck down a medical marijuana initiative that United Care placed on the 2014 ballot. The amendment drew support from about 57 percent of voters, but needed 60 percent to pass.
The Sunshine State would not be the first to legalize recreational marijuana. States such as Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington have gone on to legalize marijuana. There are currently 23 states that have legalized some form of medical marijuana.