Q&A – DeSantis Listens to Floridians On Marijuana

Today’s note comes from Dirk: 

Governor listening to the people? So, when the people speak the government should implement what they want? I'm guessing when euthanasia becomes something the people want he's going to listen and implement for them? Obviously, (an extreme example) but to my point, his job is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and of the State of Florida protecting our rights secured in those documents. It's not to allow every whim of someone who may or may not constitute a majority to be implemented in law violating the rights of others.

Bottom Line: On Wednesday I presented a story detailing what Governor DeSantis was likely to address regarding marijuana policy in Florida.  

The first and easiest step is for the state to drop legal action opposing the smoking of medical marijuana. That doubtlessly is going to happen but it’s also just the tip of the iceberg in our state which just created the “Director of Cannabis” position. So, what is likely to happen?  

It’s likely you’ll see a push for a legislative overhaul of state guidelines on legally growing marijuana. Also, expect the state to act to pave the path towards possible recreational adaptation in the future. Reading between the lines it appears there’s an expectation that there will be recreational legalization either at the state or federal level in the not-so-distant future. Laying the foundation for that today could help the state capture most of the business opportunity in-state rather than relying on imports for the product when/if recreational use takes hold. 

If you walk through the governor’s proposal yesterday, that’s all part of the plan and he’s put the ball in the state legislature’s court to act during the state session. As he indicated he’ll take executive steps if they don’t. So, Dirk, I’m with you 50% of the way on this one.  

Yes, the Governor absolutely should listen to the people who elected him, always. He works for us. On this issue the overwhelming majority of the state has spoken. But yes, as you stated he has a responsibility to the Constitution. 

Here’s the problem. If he does nothing, Florida’s violating the US Constitution with our marijuana policy. If he does something, we’re violating the US Constitution with our marijuana policy. In other words, the ship has already sailed, and nothing will change that except for federal action to decriminalize marijuana, which I hope happens sooner than later so we can stop having these types of conversations about false premises.  

Given the situation as it sits, I have no issue with him listening to the people and improving upon the situation he’s inherited. The last thing we want in Florida or anywhere else are more politicians who ignore us once they’re elected. 

Photo by: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

 

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