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Marijuana Legalization Measure May Be Heading To The 2024 Ballot In Three States

Florida would be the 24th state to approve marijuana for recreational purposes as Nebraska and Ohio yet to cross the finish line.

Marijuana legalization on Florida’s 2024 ballot pending state supreme court review

On June 1, state officials in Florida confirmed that Smart & Safe Florida, a campaign supporting a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in the state, had submitted enough valid signatures to qualify for the 2024 ballot.

Amy Hedtke, a Texas alternate delegate, wears red white and blue boots with an “end marijuana prohibition’ sticker outside the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on Monday, July 18, 2016. BILL CLARK/BALLOTPEDIA

This measure would amend the state’s constitution to legalize marijuana for adults 21 years and older and allow the possession of up to three ounces of marijuana. If approved, Florida would become the 24th state to legalize marijuana for recreational usage. 

Whether the measure goes before voters next year depends on an upcoming state supreme court review required for all proposed initiatives under Florida law. Republican governors appointed all the court’s seven justices.

The court must determine if the measure complies with the state’s single-subject rule, the appropriateness of its title and summary, and whether it “is facially valid under the United States Constitution.” Briefings are due by June 12.

Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) has already announced she does not believe the measure meets these requirements.

In 2021, Moody similarly argued against a proposed 2022 initiative to legalize marijuana, saying the ballot title was misleading and inaccurately stated the measure would legalize something that is illegal under federal law.

The state supreme court agreed and ruled 5-2 that the measure could not appear on the 2022 ballot. 

The ballot language for the proposed 2024 initiative includes a sentence saying, “Applies to Florida law; does not change, or immunize violations of, federal law.”

If this measure passes supreme court review, it would be the first marijuana-related measure to qualify for a statewide ballot in 2024. 

Ballotpedia is tracking three other potential statewide marijuana-related ballot measures in:

  • Florida, where there is a separate measure to legalize the home cultivation of medical marijuana. Florida legalized medical marijuana in 2016, with 71% of voters in favor and 29% opposed;
  • Nebraska, where supporters have until July 5, 2024, to submit the required number of valid signatures; and,
  • Ohio, where supporters qualified to submit a marijuana legalization measure to the Legislature for consideration. The Legislature did not act on the proposal by May 3, meaning supporters now have until August to gather 124,046 additional signatures in order to qualify for the 2023 ballot.

Beyond ballot measures, state legislatures in Delaware and Minnesota have legalized marijuana this year. Both states have Democratic trifectas.

As of June 5, 23 states and Washington D.C. have legalized the possession and personal use of marijuana for recreational purposes. This includes 16 states with Democratic trifectas, two with Republican trifectas, and five with divided governments.

Voters decided on legalization measures in 14 states and D.C. The average yes vote was 58%, and the average no vote was 42%, with an average margin of victory of 16 percentage points.

Produced in association with Ballotpedia

Edited by Alberto Arellano and Jessi Rexroad Shull

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