Gov. DeSantis Opposes Recreational Marijuana Legalization Despite Strong Voter Support

Gov. DeSantis Opposes Recreational Marijuana Legalization Despite Strong Voter Support

Will Amendment 3 Go Up in Smoke or Light Up Florida?

Between now and November, Florida voters will face a deluge of messages about Amendment 3, which proposes legalizing recreational marijuana for those 21 and older. Despite Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’s opposition, the latest Fox News poll shows that 66% of Florida voters intend to vote “yes” on the amendment.

Governor DeSantis, speaking out against the measure, said, “The weed one (proposed Constitutional Amendment) is not just decriminalizing it. It’s basically a license to have it wherever you want.” He is actively fighting both Amendment 3 and Amendment 4, which seeks to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution. To support his efforts, a new political committee, Florida Freedom Fund, was set up on May 24th by his Chief of Staff, James Uthmeier. While the committee hasn’t reported any campaign contributions yet, its purpose is clear.

WESH 2 News reached out to the Florida Division of Elections for more details on the committee’s specific goals, promising updates as they become available. DeSantis warned, “The State will start to smell like marijuana in our cities and towns. It will reduce the quality of life.”

On the flip side, Amendment 3 enjoys strong support from many Democratic lawmakers and some Republicans. The committee backing the amendment, Smart and Safe Florida, has raised over $60 million for a statewide TV and digital ad campaign. Most of this funding has come from Trulieve, Florida’s largest medical marijuana dispensary, with contributions from several other cannabis companies.

“We have seen reputable polling showing us well above that 60% threshold and that this is what Floridians want,” said Morgan Hill of Smart and Safe Florida. She emphasized the campaign’s focus on the economic benefits of legalizing recreational marijuana, safety, and transparency. Hill stated, “The importance of safety and transparency, and the incredible economic benefits we are going to see from Amendment 3, I think that’s really the kind of campaign we’re going to run.”

Smart and Safe Florida estimates that Amendment 3 could generate $493 million annually in sales tax revenues. However, the Florida Financial Impact Estimating Conference projects a more conservative range.

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Region: Florida

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