Florida marijuana laws have been under much scrutiny in recent years. According to Florida Law, it is illegal to possess marijuana buds or flowers until a dispensary or medical store sells it in a tamper-proof container. You can’t purchase, retain, or use recreational cannabis or marijuana even if you suffer from a medical condition and have a valid medical cannabis/marijuana card.
However, according to the Florida Division of Elections, people above 21 years of age can purchase, retain, display, transport, and use 2.5 ounces of marijuana. So, if you are an adult, you can use marijuana for personal or medical use. The legal document states that treatment centers can sell and distribute marijuana throughout the state.
However, a dispensary selling marijuana must have childproof packaging with a clear label. No one can market or advertise marijuana to people under 21 years of age. Likewise, companies can’t promote medical marijuana products in public places. The good news is that advocates working toward the legalization of marijuana have collected around 150,000 valid signatures.
However, they need over 700,000 signatures to achieve the goal. According to the Florida Division of Election, the advocates behind the legalization campaign have turned in 148,418 official signatures.
There is a need for 222,898 signatures for judicial and financial impact review. Similarly, a total of 891,589 statewide signatures are required to streamline the process and make ballot positions. Today’s article will discuss the Florida adult-use marijuana legalization petition and discuss the evidence-based reason why legalizing marijuana is critical. Read on!
Trulieve Supports Safe & Smart Florida
Trulieve is Florida’s most reputable and prominent medical marijuana company. The Bellamy Brothers support the proposed constitutional amendment to allow people 21 or above to use marijuana recreationally. Safe & Smart Florida and medical marijuana operators filed the proposed amendment at the Division of Elections.
Trulieve is a Tallahassee-based company that contributes more than $5 million to streamline the process and get the measure on the 2024 ballot. Previously, Florida voters passed an amendment to legalize medical marijuana in 2016. The constitution authorized more than 800,000 patients for medical marijuana treatment.
While attempts to legalize medical marijuana were successful, advocates for recreational cannabis failed to achieve the desired outcomes. Since 2016, all initiatives for legalizing recreational marijuana have failed. However, those who run and support recreational marijuana legalization are confident that the current campaign will fulfill the Supreme Court’s requirements.
The country’s rockstar “David Bellamy” leads the Safe & Smart Florida Committee backed by Trulieve. The purpose is to run a successful campaign and ensure the Supreme Court gives people above 21 the right to use recreational marijuana. However, this requires nearly 900,000 petition signatures to speed up the process and make it onto the 2024 ballot.
According to the Bellamy Brothers, “Florida is ready for recreational marijuana.” Similarly, Kim Rivers, the CEO of Trulieve, said, “We came into this with a mission to provide access to premium-quality and safe marijuana products.”
Since August 2016, Trulieve has issued three checks of $5 million each to streamline the campaign and achieve the desired outcomes. Advocates for recreational marijuana believe they will succeed because the petition is raking in signatures. If this momentum continues, people above 21 will finally get their rights to recreational marijuana.
Should Recreational Marijuana Be Legal in Florida?
Florida marijuana laws are constantly changing, and Florida residents need to stay informed about their rights. According to New Frontier Data, the marijuana industry, including recreational and medical cannabis, in the U.S. will surpass $24 billion in revenue by 2025. Another study shows that $1 spent in the cannabis/marijuana industry generates an economic activity between $2.13 and $2.40.
So, the marijuana industry plays a crucial role in boosting the country’s economy. Recreational marijuana legalization in Florida can generate economic activity and make the state more prosperous.
For example, food, banking, tourism, real estate, transportation, and other industries can benefit from legal marijuana. According to RAND, although most U.S. states are decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana use, the rate of cannabis use by young individuals has fallen significantly.
RAND reports that marijuana use among eighth grades in Washington State reduced after its legalization in 2012. Previously, the rate of marijuana use among young people was 9.8%, which declined to 7.3% within two years. Therefore, the legalization of marijuana can reduce its use among young individuals in Florida.
A growing body of research evidence has confirmed that legalizing marijuana does not increase rates of youth marijuana consumption. According to Reuters, states that have legalized marijuana experience 11% fewer traffic deaths. So, increased access to marijuana does not decrease public access.
People purchasing recreational marijuana on Florida streets do not know what they ingest. For instance, most products sold on streets are prone to mold, pesticides, fungus, and other harmful toxins. On the other hand, once Florida’s government legalizes recreational marijuana, it will ensure laboratory testing and regulations, leading to safe and toxins-free marijuana.
At the same time, marijuana legalization will phase out black markets by taking away money from organized criminals, drug cartels, and street gangs. There is solid evidence that marijuana seizures have decreased significantly due to its legalization in various states.
Washington Post reports that the U.S Border Patrol shows marijuana confiscations have reduced by millions of pounds and reached the lowest level in the last couple of years. So, it indicates that domestic legal production decreases demand for smuggled marijuana from Mexico. Another Press Release by Merage highlights that recreational legalization is directly proportional to reduced crime rates.
As Florida marijuana laws have evolved over the years, Florida residents have become increasingly aware of their rights when it comes to using and possessing cannabis. Although Florida has legalized medical marijuana, recreational marijuana or cannabis is still a significant issue that requires a transparent policy. Thankfully, Trulieve, Safe & Smart Florida, and other advocatory campaigns show promising results, raking in 150,000 petition signatures.
Recreational marijuana legalization will benefit the state of Florida in various ways, such as reduced smuggling from Mexico, decreased rate of use among young individuals, and controlled/safe use of cannabis among adults above 21. Contact us today for more information.