Governor DeSantis against recreational marijuana despite 65% approval

Published: Jun. 24, 2019 at 10:28 PM CDT
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A group calling itself Sensible Florida has been gathering petitions to force a vote on legalizing recreational marijuana in Florida. So far the group has collected less than 10 percent of the petitions it needs to make the ballot, but a recent poll may reinvigorate the group's efforts.

Sensible Florida has submitted almost 63,000 signed, verified petitions forms to the state. The group is still shy nearly 14,000 petitions to trigger a review by the State Supreme Court.

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows 65% of Floridians support recreational marijuana. That could breathe new life into the amendment.

“Stakeholders are very interested in exploring what they call adult use or recreational marijuana in Florida,” said Jeff Sharkey with the Medical Marijuana Business Association. "I think they are looking very seriously. As early as four months ago, it was polling in the low 50s.”

While the poll may aid the petition drive, it's facing a Governor who is adamantly opposed to legalization.

We posed the question during an exclusive one on one with governor Ron DeSantis.

“Not while I’m Governor,” said DeSantis. "I mean look, when that is introduced with teenagers and young people I think it has a really detrimental effect to their well-being and their maturity.”

“Other states have looked at this, obviously, and teen use has kind of gone down in some instances, Colorado for example,” said Sharkey.

What is clear is that the Governor's opposition could make big dollar donors think twice about bankrolling a legalization effort.

Eleven states have legalized recreational marijuana for adults. It's completely against the law in 12 other states. The remaining 27 have either medical marijuana or have decriminalized its use.