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Earlier this week, Attorney General Ashley Moody submitted a ballot measure to legalize recreational cannabis to the Florida Supreme Court. Smart & Safe Florida, a political committee that supports the rights of adults to buy, possess and use cannabis within reasonable regulations, is sponsoring the proposed amendment to the constitution.
Thus far, the committee has gathered more than 222,000 signatures for its petition, which is more than enough to prompt a review by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court usually focuses on whether the language in the proposal is clear as well as if the proposed amendments to the constitution are limited to single subjects.
Moody, who had sought an opinion on the proposal from the courts, indicated in her formal filing that she thought the initiative didn’t meet the legal requirements of part of state law to be brought before voters in the state next year. This move from Moody comes after she received a ballot measure notification from Secretary of State Cord Byrd in April.
In her statement, the AG added that she’d present additional arguments via a briefing at a later date.
For the measure to be placed on the November 2024 ballot, the sponsors will need to collect no less than 891,523 validated signatures on their petition. As of Monday, the total number of signatures stood at 786,747. If approved, the measure will allow individuals aged 21 and older to buy, possess and/or use cannabis products and cannabis accessories for nonmedical personal consumption by ingestion, smoking or otherwise.
The medical use of marijuana is already permitted in the state of Florida. In November 2016, voters approved Amendment 2, which broadly legalized the medical use of the drug for people with certain debilitating conditions or illnesses determined by a licensed physician in the state. This amendment also required that the state health department register and regulate cannabis production and distribution centers. However, it contained no provisions on home cultivation for medical cannabis patients or employment protections for eligible patients.
Overall, the medical use of marijuana is legal in 38 states, the federal District of Columbia and four out of five permanently inhabited U.S. territories.
The recreational use of marijuana is also legal in the District of Columbia, 22 states and 3 U.S. territories. Additionally, 9 other states have decriminalized the use of the drug.
However, the possession and use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law. This is because the drug is still classified under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. That notwithstanding, a number of cannabis-based formulations such as Epidiolex have obtained FDA approval and are being legally used by qualifying patients. Other companies such as IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) also have cannabis-based drug pipelines that they hope will result in FDA approval at the end of the drug-development process.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
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