Florida's attorney general tries new approach to stopping recreational marijuanaPosted by On

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While continuing to oppose a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow people to use recreational marijuana, Attorney General Ashley Moody does not want to rely on a controversial new law to kill it.

Moody’s office filed a 17-page brief Monday at the Florida Supreme Court that diverged from arguments by the state Senate, which says part of the new law should scuttle the ballot proposal. The law, passed last month, calls on the Supreme Court to consider whether ballot proposals are “facially invalid under the United States Constitution.”

Senate attorneys contend that the recreational marijuana proposal clashes with federal laws that make marijuana illegal. As a result, the Senate argues the marijuana measure would violate the U.S. Constitution’s “Supremacy Clause” and should be blocked from going before voters in 2022.

Moody also wants the Supreme Court to block the proposal because she contends it would be misleading to voters. But in the filing Monday, Moody’s office said justices should not consider whether it runs afoul of the U.S. Constitution.

“Because the misleading ballot language provides an adequate and independent ground for resolving this case, the (Supreme) Court need not – and, based on traditional principles of judicial restraint, should not – address the facial validity of the proposed amendment under the United States Constitution,” the brief said.

Moody’s office also said it doesn’t plan to weigh in on the constitutionality of the marijuana proposal.

“Pre-enactment consideration of potential challenges to the validity of proposed constitutional amendments raises particular concerns for the Office of the Attorney General,” the brief said. “As the chief legal officer of the state, the attorney general is often called on to defend and…

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