Florida Republicans flex legal muscles against marijuanaby John Kennedy | November 8th, 2013
Florida’s Republican legislative leaders Friday said a proposed 2014 measure legalizing medical marijuana should be barred from the ballot because of a host of constitutional problems.
House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, and Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, submitted a brief to the Florida Supreme Court, which is scheduled to hear arguments Dec. 5 on the measure backed by the organization United for Care.
Lawyers for the legislators cited failings in the proposal’s text and ballot summary, concluding it is misleading to voters and violates a number of constitutional standards.
“The proposed amendment and its ballot title and summary fail to provide the clarity that the voters deserve when considering whether to amend their constitution,” Weatherford and Gaetz said in their brief.
“This court should issue an advisory opinion directing that the proposed amendment not be placed on the ballot,” they told justices.
Attorney General Pam Bondi last month submitted papers to the court, saying she also found problems with the measure.
On Friday, the deadline set by justices for briefs in the matter, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida Medical Association, Florida Sheriffs Association and the advocacy group, Save Our Society from Drugs, also weighed in against the measure.