a large white building with a flag on top of it
The Florida State Capitol. CONTRIBUTED

Should Florida legalize marijuana for people over 21? Should abortion be allowed up until fetal viability (usually around 23 weeks)? And should school board elections become partisan races as of 2026?

Those are three of the six questions that will appear on ballots from the Keys to the Panhandle in November. These questions are in addition to any local referendums placed on ballots by county or city governments. (See next week’s Key West Weekly for a look at the Key West-specific ballot question.)

These ballot measures need 60 percent approval to pass.

Abortion access

Florida Amendment 4, Right to Abortion Initiative (2024) is a proposed change to the Florida constitution that would override the state’s current ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and guarantee the right to an abortion up until the point of fetal viability, when the fetus can survive outside the mother’s uterus. 

The current six-week ban was enacted by the Florida Legislature, and the proposed initiative to allow abortions until viability was initiated by a group of citizens known as Floridians Protecting Freedom. The campaign to protect women’s access to abortion spent a year gathering the required number of signatures to put the proposed constitutional amendment on the 2024 ballot.. The group collected 996,512 signatures — more than 100,000 above the 891,523 that were needed by Feb. 1.

Marijuana legalization

If passed in November, then Florida Amendment 3, Marijuana Legalization Initiative (2024) will legalize marijuana in Florida for people over 21.

According to Ballotpedia, “The initiative would legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 years old and older. Individuals would be allowed to possess up to three ounces of marijuana (about 85 grams), with up to five grams in the form of concentrate. Existing Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers would be authorized under the initiative to sell marijuana to adults for personal use. The Florida State Legislature could provide by state law for the licensure of entities other than existing Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers to cultivate and sell marijuana products. Medical marijuana was adopted by Florida voters in 2016 by a vote of 71% to 29%.”

Partisan school board elections

Florida Amendment 1, Partisan School Board Elections Amendment (2024) would make school board elections partisan beginning in 2026, states Ballotpedia.com.

“Candidates would be nominated for the general election through partisan primaries and be featured on the ballot with partisan labels, such as Democrat and Republican. 

Republican State Sen. Joe Gruters supports the amendment, saying, “There’s no such thing as a non-partisan race anymore. These races are partisan, and the only ones that aren’t informed are being tricked. And what happens is, there are games that are played all the time in these races. And what I’m trying to do is pull the bag off of the voters’ heads.” 

On the other hand, Democratic State Rep. Angie Nixon has said, “I believe this bill is not about transparency at all. This bill is about making our school-board elections and our school boards more contentious, more like D.C., which (Republicans) honestly always try to oppose.” 

Right to hunt & fish

Florida Amendment 2, Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment (2024) “would provide a state constitutional right to hunt and fish and declare that hunting and fishing are the preferred means for ‘responsibly managing and controlling fish and wildlife’ and ‘shall be preserved forever as a public right.’ The amendment would not limit the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s constitutional powers,” according to Ballotpedia. The legislator-initiated amendment comes in response to about 12 states that have recently attempted to enact bans on hunting and fishing.

Inflation adjustment for homesteaded property 

Florida Amendment 5, Annual Inflation Adjustment for Homestead Property Tax Exemption Value Amendment (2024) asks voters whether they approve of an annual inflation adjustment to the assessed value of property that is exempt from property taxation.

Repeal of public funding for statewide campaigns​​Florida Amendment 6, Repeal of Public Financing for Statewide Campaigns Amendment (2024) would cancel the availability of public campaign funding for statewide candidates who agree to the spending limits, according to Ballotpedia.org. Currently, public campaign financing is available for candidates for governor, attorney general, chief financial officer and commissioner of agriculture.

Mandy Miles
Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.