Activists hoping to get recreational pot on the 2020 ballot are undeterred by passage of Florida House Bill 5, the latest Republican attempt to subvert the people’s will.
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law on June 7 in what the South Florida Sun-Sentinel described as an “arrogant abuse of political power.”
The measure took effect immediately. It complicates the citizen initiative process, which allowed Floridians to legalize medical marijuana and restore voting rights to felons in 2016. Republican legislators would likely have rejected those proposals even though more than 60 percent of voters approved both.
“[House Bill 5] took away your legal right as a citizen and ripped and stripped the ideology of democracy away from people in this state,” says Mike Minardi, who heads Regulate Florida, one of 26 active petition drives affected by the new law.
Regulate Florida is petitioning to make marijuana legally accessible to anybody age 21 and over — and regulated like alcohol. The group has gathered more than 70,000 signatures, almost enough for judicial review through the Florida Supreme Court, a required step before reaching the 766,200 signatures required to place the initiative on the ballot. [Read more at Miami New Times]