Pot ad­vo­cacy group drops bal­lot ef­fort

Orlando Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By Steven Le­mon­gello

One of the two ma­jor recre­ational marijuana cam­paigns in Florida has given up on mak­ing the 2020 bal­lot — but it’s still un­clear if they will work to ac­tively sup­port the in­dus­try­backed marijuana pe­ti­tion that still has a chance for next year.

In an email to sup­port­ers Mon­day, lead­ers of the Reg­u­late Florida bal­lot ini­tia­tive, which called for the state to reg­u­late marijuana in the same way as al­co­hol, ac­knowl­edged they would not col­lect the nec­es­sary pe­ti­tion sig­na­tures be­fore the Feb. 1 dead­line.

Be­cause the sig­na­tures have 30 days to be ver­i­fied by elec­tions of­fi­cials prior to the dead­line, pe­ti­tions need to be sub­mit­ted by Jan. 1.

The group had 92,540 ver­i­fied sig­na­tures as of Mon­day, well short of the re­quired 766,200. The group had col­lected enough to trig­ger court and fi­nan­cial re­views.

Karen Gold­stein, vicechair of Reg­u­late Florida, said the group was “very dis­ap­pointed, of course. But as we said in the email, we’re not giv­ing up. [Even though] we’re not mak­ing the bal­lot, we feel we can re­form Florida marijuana laws as best as we can, de­pend­ing on what hap­pens in the elec­tion and the leg­isla­tive ses­sion.”

But she said the Reg­u­late Florida board has not made a de­ci­sion on whether to ac­tively work to sup­port Make

COURTESY

Med­i­cal marijuana be­ing grown in Lake Wales by dis­pen­sary op­er­a­tion GrowHealth­y.

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