Florida is set to become the third state to legalize the recreational use of the drug after Colorado and Washington.
The state House voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to approve the measure, which would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use.
The measure passed the state Senate by a vote of 27-6.
The legislation, which goes into effect on January 1, also requires that marijuana be kept out of the reach of children under the age of 18.
The bill was sponsored by Florida’s Democratic Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is running for U.S. Senate.
She told reporters Tuesday that she supports a bill similar to Colorado’s to legalize recreational marijuana.
She said the issue was too close to the presidential election to allow the governor to wait until after the election.
“I think we’re on the cusp of this happening,” she said.
“If he feels that he has to act in the next week or two to ensure that it doesn’t happen, he’s going to do it.”
The bill also requires the state to set aside 20 percent of the proceeds from sales of marijuana to the Department of Children and Families for education, treatment, and prevention of marijuana use and trafficking.
The Senate passed the bill by a 24-14 vote, with eight Democrats joining the Republicans to support the measure.
“As we’ve seen in the past, Florida has a long history of dealing with this issue,” Florida Gov.
Rick Scott said Tuesday.
“And we have the best interest of our children and families at heart.”
The legislation also provides for the state’s medical marijuana program, which was originally set to open in 2019, to expire by the end of the year.
“Today’s vote is a victory for Florida’s children and their families, but also a victory of sorts for Florida taxpayers,” Scott said in a statement.
“This legislation ensures that our children are protected from the harmful effects of marijuana in Florida, as well as in other states, including in Colorado and Oregon.”
As part of the legislation, the state also plans to spend $20 million on outreach and public education campaigns to educate Floridians on the health risks of marijuana, according to the Associated Press.
“It’s important that we don’t let the drug prohibition of the last 50 years be a factor in how our children develop,” Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said in an interview with CBS Miami.
“We need to have a conversation about this, not just in Florida but across the country.”