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- The 4 Ways to Change Cannabis Laws

Florida CAN, as a state not-for-profit can notify you about the candidates in your area and how they vote on broader drug policy issues, lobby for a bill, donate money to candidates and many other political activities. The Florida Cannabis Action Network have been leading the grassroots since 1998 and continues to operate until Floridians have the necessary legal protections to enjoy the full value of the cannabis plant without fear.

Join the Reform Effort   Contribute to the Reform Effort

Executive Branch

The Executive Branch, in particular the Florida Office of the Governor and the Office of the Attorney General, have the power to end the suffering of tens of thousands of Floridians through Executive Order.

  • The governor could sign an Executive Order giving amnesty to patients.
  • The Attorney General could act under Florida Statute 893.0355 to reschedule cannabis.

Legislative Branch

Only 160 people make up the Florida House of Representatives and Florida Senate. This pool of people is Florida CAN's top objective. These elected few make laws, create regulations and determine the course of our state for years to come.

For a bill to become a law, the bill must first be heard and passed through a series of committees in both the House and the Senate. Only about 10% of the bills introduced each year are signed by the Governor. Florida CAN has spent the last three legislative sessions in Tallahassee educating lawmakers and stakeholders about the benefits of cannabis / hemp and the harms associated with prohibition.

Judicial Branch

Prior to the passage of California's Proposition 215 in 1996, Florida had the best protection for patients in the country. Our medical necessity defense was established in Jenks v. State 582 So.2d 676 1st FL DCA. While the bar for medical necessity is high in Florida, patients who use cannabis can present medical necessity as a defense for possession or cultivation, if arrested.

Nullification of cannabis laws by juries, dismissals at the prosecutorial level and refusals by law enforcement to charge patients are all parts of an ongoing strategy to use the courts and counterproductive laws.

Constitutional Amendment

Only a Political Action Committee (PAC) can participate in election politics. In order to run a petition for a constitutional amendment, print political messages or raise money for a political campaign you must register with the Florida Division of Elections as a PAC.

To place an amendment on the ballot you must:

  • Meet the single subject rule.
  • Pass Supreme Court Review.
  • Collect valid signatures from nearly 700,000 voters.

In 2006, Florida voted to raise the threshold for passing a constitutional amendment from a simple majority (50% + 1) to a margin of 60% of the voters saying, "Yes."

In addition to constitutional amendments being put on the ballot by petitions, the Florida Legislature can put amendments to the constitution. Lastly, every 20 years a Constitutional Revision Commission is called to take public input and draft proposed constitutional amendments.

Results of Ballot Initiatives in Florida
Year Total Removed Passed Failed
1976-2000 16 0 11 5
2006 8 2 6 0
2008 9 3 4 2
2010 9 3 3 3
2012 12 1 3 8
2014 3 0 2 1