The Florida Supreme Court has killed another marijuana legalization ballot initiative, invalidating the proposal on Thursday because a majority of justices said its summary is “misleading.”
This is the second citizen initiative that the court has nullified this year that would have established a regulated marijuana market in the state.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s (R) office requested a review of both initiatives with the court and filed briefs opposing the petitions. And now, the justices have handed down another defeat to reform advocates.
As in the past case, the ruling was decided based on a statutory challenge of a single phrase. The ballot summary uses the words “limited use” in reference to activities that would be made lawful for adults. But the justices said that makes the measure “affirmatively misleading” because of separate language included in the full text, and it is therefore invalid.
“The ballot summary plainly tells voters that the proposed amendment ‘limit[s]’ the personal use—i.e., consumption—of recreational marijuana by age-eligible persons. But the proposed amendment itself does not do so,” a five-justice majority wrote.
“Even if this language, when viewed in isolation, could somehow be argued to establish a limitation on personal use in an amount equal to a ‘quantit[y] reasonably indicative of personal use or for use by household members,’ any such argument is undermined by the fact that the same section of the proposed amendment further provides that the enumerated quantities ‘are minimum quantities, subject to increase by state, county, or municipal legislation, but not subject to decrease,’” the opinion continues.
“In other words, the proposed amendment establishes a quantity floor below which an age-eligible person cannot be prosecuted, while at the same time authorizing the state and local governments to permit unlimited personal use of recreational marijuana. And although other sections of the