On Thursday, Florida lawmakers passed a smokeless medical marijuana bill in both the House and Senate – setting the stage for a Friday vote on the state’s contentious MMJ legislation.
If passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Scott, the bill would initially allow a total of 17 cultivation licenses throughout the state. Approved to operate up to 25 dispensaries each, the total number of cultivation licenses would be increased based on future population growth, according to the Sun Sentinel.
“For every 100,000 patients added to the state registry, there would be four more licenses issued, and all growers could add five more dispensaries. Those caps on dispensaries would sunset in 2020.”
Hardly perfect legislation in the minds of many, Orlando attorney John Morgan remarked on Twitter that “done is better than perfect.” And that he intends on “suing the state to allow smoke.”
— John Morgan (@JohnMorganESQ) June 7, 2017
Morgan spoke for the majority when he told WPBF 25 News, “You can’t just stiff arm the people of Florida with 71 percent of the vote.”
Last November, when Florida’s voters shocked their political representatives by overwhelmingly voting to approve medical marijuana, it’s fair to assume that most who cast a ‘Yes’ ballot on Amendment 2 envisioned a future where the sick and suffering could legally twist up a joint and eliminate their pain in peace. Now a distant reality, Rep. Evan Jenne noted, “there will be folks that get an earful that they did not support smokable marijuana.”
With the November 6, 2018, midterm elections just around the corner, there’s something here for Florida’s voters to consider. Elected officials in the Florida Senate were ultimately the ones responsible for not passing thoughtful legislation during the regular session. Added to the special session agenda at the last minute by the Senate, this critical piece of legislation was seemingly rushed through the process. Far from proactively legislating, perhaps it’s time to give these politicians more than “an earful” and send them back to the private sector.
Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett