Attorney General Ashley Moody is challenging a proposed ballot initiative for the 2020 election that seeks to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Florida.
The 10-page constitutional amendment is misleading to voters because it is too long and cannot be adequately summarized, Moody said in a prepared statement Wednesday.
“There is no way 10 pages of the law can be summarized clearly in 75 words or less and would adequately convey to the voters what exactly they will be voting on,” the Republican attorney general said.
Two groups are trying to get marijuana legalization before voters. Regulate Florida has collected more than 89,000 signatures from registered voters, meeting the threshold required for a mandatory Florida Supreme Court review. The amendment is titled “Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol to Establish Age, Licensing, and Other Restrictions.”
The proposal would legalize marijuana for adults older than age 21 and allow them to grow their own pot.
Michael Minardi, chairman of Regulate Florida, said he is not surprised the amendment is being challenged given Gov. Ron DeSantis’ opposition to marijuana legalization. He said he’ll defend the initiative before the Florida Supreme Court.
“The length of something doesn’t mean we are hiding the ball or there is something not evident about the amendment from the ballot summary,” he said.
The state Supreme Court is charged with determining whether ballot initiatives meet legal requirements, including verifying initiatives are fairly summarized.RELATED: Florida attorney general trying to keep proposed assault weapons ban off 2020 election ballot »
If the Supreme Court approves the language, the organization needs many more signatures — a total of 766,200 statewide by Feb. 1, 2020 — to get the item on the ballot. At least 60 percent of voters must approve for marijuana to be legalized.
The other marijuana legalization effort is being led by Make It Legal Florida, which is better funded and backed by some of the state’s leading medical marijuana dispensaries. The proposal is narrower than Regulate Florida’s and would require pot sales to be handled through designated treatment centers.
Moody is also challenging a proposed ballot initiative that would ban the sale of semiautomatic rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, along with a proposal that seeks to deregulate the energy industry.
Her office is not opposing a proposed initiative that would raise the minimum wage.
Staff writer Steven Lemongello contributed to this report.