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The Student News Site of Pembroke Pines Charter High School

CHAT News

The Student News Site of Pembroke Pines Charter High School

CHAT News

Photos By Lisset

Decisions ahead: Florida voters to decide on abortion & marijuana

A+ballot+box+with+a+vote+going+into+it.+Hot+issues+on+this+year%E2%80%99s+ballot+include+abortion+rights+and+the+legalization+of+recreational+marijuana.+
Boaz St. Omer
A ballot box with a vote going into it. Hot issues on this year’s ballot include abortion rights and the legalization of recreational marijuana.

The Florida Supreme Court recently issued several rulings on April 1st, allowing Floridians to vote on abortion rights and the legalized recreational use of marijuana. These issues will be seen on the ballot in November, and are expected to attract young voters towards President Biden’s campaign. 

The ruling also came the same day that the Florida Supreme Court upheld the state’s ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. However, one of the two abortion rulings allow a six-week abortion ban to take place next month. Another ruling allows for a ballot measure that would protect access to abortion up to 24 weeks, if it passes in November. 

A separate ruling was also issued in regards to recreational marijuana use, when the court chose not to block an initiative that would legalize this. This ruling comes after Republican lawmakers in Florida previously rejected this measure. 

Both of these issues have proven to increase young voter turnout in other states, such as Ohio last year. Ohio now allows adults over the age of 21 to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and grow up to six marijuana plants at home. This measure was also passed alongside a ballot measure that approved a state-wide constitutional amendment, which would establish a “fundamental right to reproductive freedom” in Ohio. Democrats are now expecting a similar result in the Sunshine State this year. 

These initiatives are expected to be game-changing for presidential campaigns this year. For instance, Democrats won a state house seat in Alabama in late March, after focusing on issues of abortion and protecting access to in vitro fertilization (IVF). 

“I feel like a lot more younger people care about these [issues] and want to see something change, so it makes sense that they’re adding it to the ballot this year,” shares sophomore Isabella Milian.

So far, seven states have voted in support of ballot measures that would allow for more abortion access since the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022, giving states the authority to impose their own restrictions. 

A poll conducted in November 2023 found that 62% of respondents said they would vote yes for the abortion rights amendment, and 67% said they would vote yes to legalize recreational marijuana. Additionally, 53% of Republican respondents said they would vote yes for the abortion rights amendment.

Many groups have recently been advocating for these amendments. For instance, Floridians Protecting Freedom, the group leading the campaign for the abortion amendment, has raised almost $20 million from abortion-rights groups. Additionally, Smart & Safe Florida is leading the campaign for the legalization of recreational marijuana, and has raised more than $5 million so far. 

However, many Florida Republicans, notably Gov. Ron DeSantis, have come out to voice their opinions against the new ballot measures. Opponents of the abortion measure argue that the language of the initiative is too vague, and that it will lead to an “unregulated abortion industry.” DeSantis also accused the marijuana measure of being written too broadly that it would limit how the industry would be regulated.

“I think both of these issues are really important, especially because of everything that happened with Roe v. Wade. I can’t vote but I think it’ll be interesting to see what happens,” expresses sophomore Giana Marte.

Photos By Lisset
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About the Contributors
Lizbeth Manoj
Lizbeth Manoj, Staff Writer
Hey! My name is Lizbeth and I’m currently a sophomore. I love hanging out with my friends and family. This is my first year as a Staff Writer and I’m so excited to write for the CHAT this year. You can contact me at [email protected].
Boaz St. Omer
Boaz St. Omer, Graphics Staff
Hello. My name is Boaz St. Omer. As of right now, I am in my junior year of high school and this is my first year in the CHAT. I’m not going to lie, at first I was a little bit hesitant in joining this class, but I am very interested in digital works and design. Now, I will be working with the graphics team this year. Contact me at [email protected] for any questions or ideas. Thank you!

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