Marijuana Legalization: Jeb Bush Just Says No in FloridaBy: Mike Tuttle - August 17, 2014
Come November, when Floridians go to the ballot box, they will have the opportunity to vote on a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana in Florida. The initiative is extremely popular in the Sunshine State, with 88 percent support among residents.
Florida’s voters have had the opportunity to see how legalization in varying degrees has panned out in other states. Perhaps they have heard that traffic fatalities are actually down in Denver. Or perhaps they now know that the dire predictions of rampant underage marijuana use have never come to pass. In fact, underage use is down, thanks to growers and sellers who will do whatever it takes to keep kids from buying. Whatever has done the trick, the pleas of legalization opponents is finding no purchase in voters who respond to polling.
Now former Florida governor and heir to the Bush family political dynasty, Jeb Bush, is coming out to make his opinion known. Jeb Bush says Florida should Just Say No to medical marijuana because is makes the state look bad.
“Florida leaders and citizens have worked for years to make the Sunshine State a world-class location to start or run a business, a family-friendly destination for tourism and a desirable place to raise a family or retire,” Bush said.
“Allowing large-scale, marijuana operations to take root across Florida, under the guise of using it for medicinal purposes, runs counter to all of these efforts. I strongly urge Floridians to vote against Amendment 2 this November,” he said.
When an initiative is as strongly supported as this one is in Florida, it doesn’t much matter where any one politician lands on it. It is going to pass anyway. Perhaps Bush is laying groundwork for his future presidential run plans by staking out his position on this topic now for his base of conservative voters. Then, once the initiative passes anyway, he can always say he opposed it, with no consequence.
In any case, Florida voters are overwhelmingly turning pro-pot. Not only is the medical marijuana initiative receiving strong support, as noted, but even the notion of legalizing recreational use makes a strong showing. Fifty-five percent of Floridians are supportive of legalizing adult recreational use of marijuana, and only 41 percent oppose it.
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