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Will Florida Voters See Legalization on the Ballot Next Year?


When it comes to marijuana law reform in 2020, no statewide vote will likely be bigger than what may happen in Florida. As we have reported, there are two main groups gathering signatures for adult-use legalization ballot measures in the state for next year, Regulate Florida and Make It Legal Florida.

Despite strong starts for both efforts, a recent article in the Orlando Sentinel reports that signature-gathering has slowed down, and time is running out before the deadline of February 1, 2020.

Regulate Florida lacks the industry funding that Make It Legal Florida enjoys, and it’s hampering efforts on their end. “We’ve got a lot of grass-roots support … but we’re not getting enough [funding] and we’re not getting it consistently,” said Karen Goldstein, deputy director of NORML Florida and vice-chair of Regulate Florida.

Make It Legal, on the other hand, has the funding to send ballots directly to voters and employ paid signature gatherers. This will enable them to close the gap for the 766,000+ valid signatures needed to qualify for the ballot much quicker. But according to the Sentinel, they have a long way to go, with only about 57,000 signatures in hand.

Since both measures will need 60% of the vote to pass, it would be an understatement to say that a lot of work will need to be put in over the next year. In a state the size of Florida that is so heavily populated in so many different areas, there is a lot of ground to cover.

And a win in Florida will mean a lot to the cannabis community in the rest of the country as well. At a time when some feel the momentum of the movement is waning, 2020 is going to be a big year to make progress on the state level as things move slowly on the federal level.

There will be a lot of noise surrounding the state in terms of media coverage as it will be a focal point of the Presidential election. But a contentious election at the top should bring out a good turnout, and hopefully a turnout of the younger voters that will be needed to get 60% for adult-use legalization.

If you live in Florida, this is it. Time is running out to get involved and make a difference. If you ever wanted to contribute to the well-being of others in a real way, now is the time.