Recreational marijuana advocates in Florida might have to wait until 2018 before they can legally smoke weed in the state. Regulate Florida, the organization behind the recreational weed initiative in the state, has recently announced that they did not meet the required number of signatures needed to push forth with their petition in the 2016 ballot.
“The reality is showing us that we’re not going to get the million petitions or signatures verified by February 1. We had an uphill battle honestly with getting a million signatures realistically from the end of August until December,” said Michael Minardi, Regulate Florida’s campaign manager. “We did believe with the movement and the momentum that we had that we could get this done, but unfortunately, we don’t think we’re going to at this point.”
This puts out hopes that Florida will become the first southern state to end prohibition. Although there was a lot of anticipation at the beginning of the campaign, the lack of funding has taken its toll on the organization, as it takes millions of dollars to run even a simple signature campaign.
For instance, United for Care, a group that has been pushing for medical marijuana legalization in Florida next year, reportedly spent over $4 million during its 2014 signature campaign, only to lose in last November’s vote. Now, United for Care is once again aiming to legalize medical marijuana and put it in the 2016 ballot. It needs to collect 346,000 more signatures before February.
In the case of recreational marijuana, however, Regulate Florida is planning to regroup and make a few adjustments in order to get the measure on the ballot by 2018.
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