Abortion and marijuana will be on the ballot this year in a key swing state

Abortion and marijuana will be on the ballot this year in a key swing state

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image of man standing at voting booth in Florida
A Florida poll worker preparing a voting booth ahead of the state’s March 2024 primary.

  • Florida voters will have the chance to vote on abortion and recreational marijuana this November.
  • The measures would enshrine abortion access and recreational marijuana use into the state constitution.
  • The court also allowed Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 6-week abortion ban to go into effect.

Florida voters will now have the chance to decide for themselves if they want abortion rights and recreational marijuana enshrined in the state constitution.

The state’s Supreme Court, which has a conservative majority, ruled that the two measures could appear on the ballot this November.

The first ballot measure would add the right to abortion into the state constitution, mandating that no law can “prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict” abortion before the fetus is viable outside the womb.

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If passed, the amendment would override Florida’s current abortion restrictions — which are about to get stricter.

In addition to approving the two ballot measures, the Florida Supreme Court also upheld a 15-week ban on abortions, which Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law in 2022, and was challenged in court.

DeSantis later signed a more restrictive six-week abortion ban into law in 2023, which was contingent on the court’s ruling on the 15-week ban.

Now, thanks to the court’s Monday ruling, the six-week abortion ban can go into effect, the court wrote in its opinion.

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Florida — which has trended red in recent years — will be a critical swing state in this year’s presidential election.

Democrats have used abortion rights as a rallying cry to boost voter turnout since the conservative-dominated Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and allowed states to put abortion bans in place.

In at least one deep-red state, a pro-abortion provision has already succeeded. Kansas voters overwhelmingly rejected an amendment to the state’s constitution that would have banned abortion in 2022.

The second ballot initiative this fall would legalize recreational marijuana use in the state. Currently, marijuana is only allowed in Florida for medical consumption.

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Both measures had already garnered enough petition signatures to appear on the ballot, but it was up to the state Supreme Court to decide if the specific wording of the ballot measures was clear enough to voters.

In order for the constitutional amendments to pass, they will need to collect 60% of the vote.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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