Mothers, cops, and vets rally behind $5M push for recreational marijuana

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marijuana art mural
Mural on a cannabis dispensary In Gulfport, FL. By Seán Kinane / WMNF News (2024).

©2024 The News Service of Florida

Mothers, law-enforcement officers and veterans are among people included in a new $5 million statewide ad campaign aimed at boosting support for a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow recreational use of marijuana in Florida, supporters of the measure announced Tuesday.

Four ads will run on broadcast, cable, streaming, radio and digital platforms, according to the Smart & Safe Florida political committee, which has led efforts to pass what will appear as Amendment 3 on the November ballot.

The ads say, in part, that regulated recreational marijuana is a better alternative to cannabis products sold on the black market.

“A yes vote on Amendment 3 will improve the health and safety of Floridians.

Access to regulated adult-use marijuana would help prevent illicit cartel-trafficked marijuana from making its way into Florida, as well as allow law enforcement to focus on violent crime,” a news release from the committee said.

The Florida Supreme Court on April 1 approved allowing the proposed constitutional amendment to go before voters.

Trulieve, the state’s largest medical marijuana company, had contributed nearly $50 million to the effort as of March 31, according to the latest campaign finance reports posted on the state Division of Elections website.

Other Florida medical marijuana companies also have started supporting the proposal. In March, Verano Holdings Corp., which operates as MÜV in Florida, contributed a total of $2.225 million, Curaleaf Inc. contributed $2 million, AYR Wellness Inc. and Green Thumb Industries each contributed $500,000, and Cresco Labs contributed $400,000.

As of March 31, the political committee had raised nearly $55 million since the launch of the campaign in 2022, and had spent $40.6 million.

Florida voters in 2016 approved a constitutional amendment that broadly allowed medical marijuana.

Changes to the state Constitution require 60 percent approval from voters to pass.

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