Watch CBS News

Here's what you need to know about the recreational marijuana amendment on the November ballot

The future of marijuana: Where do Floridians stand on recreational pot
The future of marijuana: Where do Floridians stand on recreational pot 03:12

MIAMI - In November, voters in Florida will decide if recreational use of marijuana should be legal in the state. 

The amendment voters will be deciding is specific, setting the first parameters for use.

Like alcohol, only those 21 years and older would be allowed to possess, purchase or use marijuana products and accessories. This would be for non-medical, personal consumption. 

If passed, the amendment would also allow medical marijuana businesses to grow and sell the drug and its accessories and there will be limits on how much a person could use.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis does not think recreational marijuana should be legal in the state. When asked about the amendment recently, DeSantis said, "It's basically a license to have it anywhere you want.  No time, place and manner restrictions. This state will start to smell like marijuana in our cities and towns.  It will reduce the quality of life."

Regardless, the issue is expected to drive people to the polls this November. Our Jim DeFede said, "I think it's pretty clear that you're going to have a very energized young vote that you might not otherwise have seen in a presidential election year."  He went on to explain: "You know, voting between two geriatrics is not something that is likely to get a lot of young people excited about turning out to the polls.  Marijuana on the other hand, could drive those numbers."

The amendment needs 60% of the vote to pass.  If it does, it's expected to have a major impact on the state.  According to the state, Florida stands to make over $195 million a year in state and local tax revenues.  Trulieve CEO Kim Richards told DeFede: "We have an opportunity, and fully expect the legislature to put a tax on this product that can be put back into the community in a variety of ways, that will also be up to the discretion of the legislature." 

Trulieve is the group behind the amendment.  It spent $40 million to get it on the ballot, maintaining passing the bill will make marijuana use safer. 

Trulieve's Steven Vancore told Chelsea Jones "You see people lacing cannabis with meth, with ketamine, with fentanyl, and people are dying from these things.  When you go to an adult-use market, it's going to be a regulated market.  And every state that does this, every product is third-party tested for purity and safety."

Even if marijuana becomes legal in Florida, it does remain illegal at the federal level.  But, the DEA is reviewing if it should soften federal regulations.

CBS News Miami will continue to cover this issue through the November election.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.