Feb 28, 2022
ballot initiative campaigns, ballot initiative process, ballot initiatives, cannabis legalization, citizen initiative process, citizens, constitutional amendment, democracy, donations, FL, Florida, Florida Senate Rules Committee, government structure, HJR 1127, medical cannabis, procedural subjects, SJR 1412
Alarming news! Tomorrow at 1:30 p.m., the Florida Senate Rules Committee will hear SJR 1412. If enacted, SJR 1412 would severely limit the rights of citizens to participate in democracy through the ballot initiative process! If the proposal becomes law, it will prevent a ballot measure on cannabis legalization.
SJR 1412 proposes a constitutional amendment limiting the scope of future citizen initiatives to only government structure or procedural subjects, effectively ending the citizen initiative process in Florida. Ballot initiatives are typically a last resort policy option when lawmakers refuse to act on the will of the people. Floridians were only able to obtain medical cannabis access through the ballot initiative process in 2016. And direct democracy is Florida’s best hope for adult-use cannabis legalization, given the legislature’s inaction.
SJR1412 and its counterpart, HJR 1127, are the latest in a string of bills to radically change the citizen initiative process. In 2019 and 2020, legislators passed two laws making the citizen initiative process more cumbersome. In 2021, lawmakers passed a bill to cap donations Floridians can give to ballot initiative campaigns they support. That’s why it's critically important to stop SJR 1412 dead in its tracks.
We’re urging everyone to contact their state senator and tell them to preserve the constitutional rights of Florida voters. After you do, please consider urging a friend or family member to do the same.