NewsCovering Florida


Recreational marijuana and abortion protections WILL GO on November ballot in Florida

Posted at 4:15 PM, Apr 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-01 23:09:41-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Supreme Court has ruled both marijuana and abortion protections will go on the November ballot.

The ballot measure would permit abortions up to viability, which is approximately 24 weeks into pregnancy, with provisions for health and safety exceptions. For the amendments to pass, it has to have 60% voter approval.

During February's oral arguments, Justice John Couriel laid bare what was at stake: “The question before us is — is this hiding a ball in some meaningful way? Or, should the voters say, ‘Gee, that’s really sweeping, we should not approve this?’”

Such remarks have buoyed the confidence of proponents.

"The closer we get to April first, the more convinced I am that we're going to be on the ballot," said Anna Hochkammer, Executive Director for the Florida Women’s Freedom Coalition. "I don't have any butterflies in my stomach."

However, the initiative faces staunch opposition from anti-abortion advocates who criticize its sweeping nature, warning it could be dangerous.

"This amendment literally throws women into the back alleys of abortion," argued Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, last month. "It deregulates abortion. No law will stand if this amendment is passed— other than, possibly, parental notification."

Justices also scrutinized the ballot language for Amendment Three, which would legalize recreational marijuana in Florida.

If voters ratify, Amendment Three grants adults aged 21 and older "the right to possess, purchase, or use marijuana products for non-medical personal consumption, including smoking or ingesting."

Similar to the abortion amendment, the justices appeared inclined towards approval during last year's November hearing.