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Recreational marijuana backers in Florida seek more time for petition signatures

Arguing that a new law violates constitutional rights, supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize recreational marijuana filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking more time to submit petition signatures to get on the November ballot.

The political committee Make It Legal Florida filed the lawsuit in Leon County circuit court targeting the constitutionality of a law that placed more restrictions on signature gathering and alleging that problems with a state database have hampered the recreational marijuana measure.

Sponsors of proposed constitutional amendments are required to submit 766,200 valid petition signatures to get on the November ballot. Petitions are submitted to county election supervisors, who verify the signatures and report the information to the secretary of state.

The process must be done by Feb. 1. But the lawsuit said the process effectively involves a “stealth deadline” of Jan. 2 to submit petitions to county supervisors because of a 30-day window for verification and reporting of signatures. The lawsuit seeks an extension until Feb. 1 to submit signatures to county supervisors, with the deadline for verification similarly extended. [Read more at Tampa Bay Business Journal]

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