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The fact that most politicians in the United States are self-serving scuzzbags won’t surprise anyone with eyeballs or a pulse. However, sometimes politicians do things that are so corrupt that it’s hard to look past it. That is certainly the case with a recent attempt by Florida state lawmakers to stymie the political will of their constituents. When they saw that voters were organizing to change the law, they started making it harder for them to do so.
They recently passed a new measure, known as House Bill 5, that will make it much more difficult for political activists in the state to bring ballot measures for voter approval. One of the primary incentives the state had for passing this new and highly controversial law so quickly was the fact that activists are pushing to get cannabis legalization on the ballot for the 2020 election. There are actually at least two initiatives actively gathering signatures now, as well as two dozen other petitions circulating that could impact the 2020 election.
Undeterred by this slimeball move, activists in Florida say that they will jump through the necessary hoops and do whatever it takes to get their petitions onto the ballot next year. If recent results in Michigan are any indication, this is just a desperate ploy by politicians heavily invested in cannabis prohibition to deter rapid political change. Instead of stopping people from passing laws, it may motivate more people to turn up to the polls.
Michigan lawmakers began enforcing archaic rules about ballot initiatives when citizens attempted to push back against cannabis prohibition, gerrymandering, and fracking with petitions for ballot initiatives in 2017. Both cannabis legalization and gerrymandering made it onto the 2018 ballot, and in both cases, the people passed them with a strong majority.
Despite the underhanded tactics that politicians have used to keep people from innovating and changing the law, activists can and will continue to push for necessary change. Politicians in Florida who supported House Bill 5 ought to watch themselves carefully, as their time may soon be up. Voters will remember who actually represents their best interests and who was just looking out for themselves when re-election time comes.
For previous Ladybud coverage about Florida, click here.