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Pot Backers Fight To Get On The Ballot

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Supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize recreational marijuana want more time to get on the November ballot.

Arguing that a new law violated constitutional rights, the political committee Make It Legal Florida filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking additional time to submit petition signatures to get on the ballot.

The committee is targeting the constitutionality of a 2019 law (HB 5) that placed more restrictions on signature gathering, contending it has hampered the recreational marijuana measure.

Under the law, petition gatherers need to register with the Department of State and receive petition forms from the agency. Make It Legal Florida argues the department’s registration database has had continual problems, and as a result, has affected the committee’s ability to submit signatures in time to meet a Feb. 1 deadline.

Petitions are submitted to county election supervisors, who verify the signature and report the information to the secretary of state.

Sponsors of the proposed measure need to submit 766,200 valid signatures. As of mid-day Friday, the state had tallied 232,236 valid petition signatures from Make it Legal Florida, according to the Division of Elections website.

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News Service of Florida