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What Is “Regulate Florida” and Can Their Petition Help Legalize Recreational Marijuana In Florida?

Life is nice in Florida if you are a medical patient. There are dispensaries in every corner, a fairly respectable variety of different companies to choose from, and pretty damn good cannabis and cannabis products (it can absolutely be better, though). But, there are grey areas to consider when being a patient and carrying around medical products when you’re out and about. If marijuana is legal at the medical level in Florida, what are its limits? What aspects of medical legalization differ from recreational? Can I own plants at home? How much freedom do I really have as a patient? It can be confusing because you see places like California or Colorado celebrating cannabis like it’s the fucking miracle plant from God, which it is. But, then you see the strictest of states like New York and Massachusetts legalizing cannabis at the recreational level, leaving Florida a bit behind regarding recreational legalization. Now, this wouldn’t be an issue if marijuana were already legalized federally like we’ve all been saying, but that’s still an ongoing fight, so who knows when that’ll happen. So, what can be done about this confusion?

Florida legalized medical marijuana in 2016 and is already a top-5 state in the nation in terms of business and revenue. That's just a fact now, but there are still issues within the state‘s laws that cloud the vision of those activists who have been fighting for legalization for years. These issues pertain to the fine lines that separate absolute freedom from government authority and the on-going War on Drugs that continues to destroy the county's low income communities. Having cannabis dispensaries everywhere is cool and all, but now it totally comes off as an exclusive club that's supposed to represent freedom for ALL Floridians, all while unjust arrests and convictions for marijuana continue to haunt communities. So, it really DOESN'T represent all Floridians, just the ones who qualify. And since legalization in Florida will stay at the medical level, especially after seeing how much revenue it has created, federal and state laws will continue to police Floridians who don't have a medical marijuana card. HOWEVER, there is a new petition that is making noise around the medical marijuana community and it highlights the efforts of activists seeking less government interference.

Regulate Florida is a homegrown activist organization that created a petition where, with enough signatures, can be approved for voting in 2022. The petition is referred to as the "Homegrow" petition and is closely associated to Regulate Florida's #FreeThePlant initiative where the use of marijuana, as well as the ability to grow and cultivate it at home, is legalized for adults 21 years and older. The petition (which can be downloaded, printed, and signed here) needs 800k signatures by then end of 2021 for a chance to be on the ballot in 2022. The full amendment and summary of the petition can be seen here. Trulieve also sponsors the petition and have physical copies at every location in the state Florida, and you can sign it and have them submit your signature, even if you aren't a card holder! So, shoutout to Trulieve for using their platform to sponsor a game-changing amendment.

The petition does not intend to target MMTC's of Florida or change the rules on qualifying for a medical marijuana card. During a podcast named The Green Room, Chris "Sunshine" Williams, a board member of Regulate Florida, broke down common misinterpretations of the petition:

"This initiative is not a 'open the floodgates, everything's legal for everyone, we're all gonna have a million licenses and gonna have pot plants down the street-NO! That's not what this is. This is home grow for all adults, 21 plus. It allows 9 plants [per person]…and you're allowed 18 plants per household."

There you have it. If this amendment gets enough signatures, appears on the ballot next year, and is approved by voters in Florida, then all Floridians can legally own 9 plants, and each household would be allowed up to 18 plants. If that doesn't represent freedom from marijuana prohibition, I don't know what does. And don't get me wrong, for the hardcore growers and smokers who'd like to own more plants, I understand how it isn't the PERFECT example of ABSOLUTE freedom, but it's a start. Look how far Florida has gone these last 5 years. There are still issues that need to be addressed, but imagine what progress could be made in the next 5 or 10 years if this amendment were to pass. Regulate Florida have created petitions before and they've gotten enough signatures multiple times, and with the help of Trulieve and other partners in cannabis, they can easily surpass the minimum 800k.

The majority of Floridians are in favor of recreational legalization and if Regulate Florida's petition is available for a vote next year, it's no surprise that it would likely surpass the 60% approval threshold, and by a mile too. Regulate Florida has been working for years to spread the message that if federal legalization isn't an option and our country's government decides to continue the War on Drugs, then Floridians can put these matters into their own hands by fighting these laws with the necessary documents and support. For those who really care and wish to fight with Regulate Florida and Sunshine Cannabis, I suggest you drive to Trulieve or download and sign the petition at home. For updates on the petition and the fight for legalization, press here and here.

If the petition fails, voters would have to wait until 2024 to try again.


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