New Florida law used against recreational marijuana proposal

New Florida law used against recreational marijuana proposal

The Florida Senate is using a controversial new law to try to bolster arguments against a proposed constitutional amendment that seeks to allow people to use recreational marijuana. Lawyers for the Senate and other opponents have argued in recent months that the Florida Supreme Court should block the proposed amendment because it would conflict with federal laws that make marijuana illegal. But in a filing this week, the Senate ratcheted up that argument by pointing to part of a new state law that seeks to make it harder to pass ballot initiatives. That part of the law calls on the Supreme Court to consider whether proposed amendments are “facially invalid under the United States Constitution.” The filing Saturday by Senate attorneys said the law, which was signed last week by Gov. Ron DeSantis, is “relevant” to the broader argument about the recreational-marijuana amendment conflicting with federal laws. On Monday, the Supreme Court responded by issuing an order inviting the parties in the recreational-marijuana dispute to “file supplemental briefs addressing the implications, if any, of” the new law. The Supreme Court plays a critical role in determining whether proposed constitutional amendments go before voters, reviewing ballot summaries and titles to determine whether the proposals meet legal standards such as not being misleading. Justices are scheduled May 6 to hear arguments about the recreational marijuana proposal, which is sponsored by the political committee Make It Legal Florida and could go on the 2022 ballot. Opponents, including the Senate, House, Attorney General Ashley Moody and the Florida Chamber of Commerce, have filed briefs at the Supreme Court that primarily attack the amendment because of the potential conflict with federal drug laws. They have contended, in part, that the ballot proposal does not adequately inform voters of the conflict. Part of that argument […]

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