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Florida Gov Says PAC Working With Allies To Defeat Cannabis Amendment

“It would turn Florida into San Francisco, or Chicago, or some of these places.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis indicated during a recent press conference that one of the election targets for his recently launched political action committee, Florida Freedom Fund, will be the proposed constitutional amendment to legalize the recreational use of cannabis for adults.

The governor has previously attacked Amendment 3 when talking about plans for the PAC launched on May 24, calling the initiative that will appear on the ballot in November “bogus.” Still, the Florida Freedom Fund would have to face off against Smart & Safe Florida, the recreational cannabis backers. That group has raised more than $66 million, according to campaign finance reports.

“We are working with a lot of stakeholders who are interested in making sure that we defeat Amendment 3, which would basically do marijuana, wherever you want, just smoke it, take it. And it would turn Florida into San Francisco, or Chicago, or some of these places,” DeSantis said during a Tuesday press conference in Lake County. “We already have medical marijuana, it’s out there. But we got to keep our streets clean, we cannot have every town smelling like marijuana.”

Although Politico has reported that the PAC would also target Amendment 4, the ballot initiative to protect abortion access, DeSantis hasn’t said much about the topic publicly. He also focused on the cannabis amendment and state attorney races when he signed the 2024-25 budget on June 12.

Morgan Hill, a spokesperson for Smart & Safe Florida, said there would still be regulations around the use of recreational cannabis.

“The governor knows better. The clear language of Amendment 3, as well as long-established precedent in the Florida Constitution, clearly gives Florida lawmakers the authority to restrict where people consume marijuana and implement regulations that work specifically for Floridians,” Hill wrote in a statement.

“It’s important to remember the Florida Supreme Court ruled Amendment 3 ballot language was drafted in precise adherence to the state Constitution, and our clear language does not mislead Floridians in any way.”

As of June 14, the first and only contribution the Florida Freedom Fund has reported came from Keith Rothfus. The former Pennsylvania congressman donated $10,000 to the PAC, which is almost as much as the $13,300 he donated to DeSantis’ presidential campaign, according to the Federal Election Commission individual donor database.

DeSantis held the press conference in Central Florida to award the local governments of Umatilla and Plant City $4.8 and $5.5 million, respectively, for infrastructure projects. He also gave the Florida Medal of Merit to Mel Jenner, a WWII veteran who fought during D-Day.

This article was republished from the Florida Phoenix under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. You can read the original here.