Florida lawmakers file bill to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over

Two Florida lawmakers have filed a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana in the state for adults 21 and over. 

HB 1117 was filed by Reps. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, and Michael Grieco, D-Miami Beach, on Tuesday. The proposal allows people who are 21 years old and above to “use, possess and transport” up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and have marijuana accessories. 

The bill would also lets people possess, grow and cultivate up to six marijuana plants, including seedlings, and possess the marijuana produced by the plants. 

The representatives say the measure will create a path toward full access to cannabis in Florida and a structure for its sale and taxation. Recreational marijuana is currently legal in 10 states. 

Grieco says he and Smith worked tirelessly on the bill to “ensure access, protect local decision-making and create a revenue-generating structure for the state.” 

“With bipartisan efforts in criminal justice reform reaching new levels this year, it is the right time for Florida to start having a real conversation about legalizing marijuana for adult use,” Grieco says in a statement. “It’s coming one way or another, either by a 2020/2022 ballot measure or from us here in the legislature. … Colorado has collected over one billion dollars in taxes from marijuana sales since 2014, so imagine what bigger, sunnier Florida could do.” 

Smith adds that there’s “no reason cannabis can’t be regulated in ways similar to alcohol.” 

“Continuing to criminalize responsible adult use of cannabis just doesn’t make any sense,” Smith says. “No one is dying from cannabis overdoses but they are getting arrested and being given criminal records for no good reason. A majority of Floridians support legalizing adult-use cannabis, so let’s do this already.” 

By Monivette Cordeiro 

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