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Countering 70% of Its Own Voters, Flagler Beach Prepares to Ban Medical Pot Dispensaries Outright

| July 13, 2017

Flagler Beach City Commission Chairman Jane Mealy favors an outright ban on dispensaries. Commissioner Rick Belhumeur does not. (© FlaglerLive)

Flagler Beach City Commission Chairman Jane Mealy favors an outright ban on dispensaries. Commissioner Rick Belhumeur does not. (© FlaglerLive)

Update: The Flagler Beach City Commission voted 3-2 Thursday evening to adopt the prohibition on medical pot dispensaries, with Jane Mealy, Joy McGrew and Marshal Shupe for the ban, Kim Carney and Rick Belhumeur against. 

Last November, Florida voters by an overwhelming margin approved a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana.  Flagler Beach voters did so by a 70 percent margin, in line with the state.

The Flagler Beach City Commission is now preparing to carve the city out of the constitutional right and ban medical pot dispensaries outright.

The city’s planning board on July 11 voted to recommend the ban. The city commission takes up the ban this evening on first reading. It had agreed to consider the ordinance in a mere nine-minute discussion at the tail end of its last commission hearing, at close to 10 p.m., on June 22, before an empty chamber. That was not so much a discussion of the commission as a brief explanation by Drew Smith, the city’s attorney, of the new medical marijuana law the Legislature passed in special session just weeks ago in June.

Smith had taken it upon himself to draft the ban ordinance already. He brought it up at the June 22 meeting and asked commissioners if they wanted him to proceed with it, given the new law’s options: cities and counties may either ban dispensaries outright, or they must allow them to operate in the same locations as they do pharmacies. The only difference is a minimum 500-foot buffer between dispensaries and schools.

In the brief discussion, commissioners mumbled their consensus to go forward with the ban ordinance even though Smith also acknowledged the legal risk of a ban: “This was a constitutional amendment,” he told commissioners. “We dealt with it with adult entertainment, we dealt with it with tattoo parlors where the courts have said, this is a constitutional right, you can’t just ban it in your city. And I worry that if on a challenge somewhere down the road, a court could say, you can’t just ban this in your city, which, if we all go through and ban it, then we’ve kind of are left with all or nothing.”

Smith said he’d dealt with the issue by building in an “automatic waiting period,” he said, should the city’s ban be struck down or invalidated by a subsequent law. That would be a 90-day moratorium on applications to open a dispensary. But the waiting period is meaningless: it is a speculative palliative that only underscores the city’s legal haze as it heads toward adoption of the ban, one intended for commissioners to be able to claim they have an out, when in fact, they do not: any provision in any ordinance could be invalidated, and it is customary for local governments to adapt in reasonable time.  The end result of the proposal is in fact a ban that would go in effect as early as July 27, when it would be adopted on second reading.

If it does, it places Flagler Beach at the forefront of cities taking the prohibition approach.

The city is doing so even a majority of the commission, including its chairman, Jane Mealy, favor medical marijuana. But the rationale put forth does not rest on evidence or economics as much as on discredited and discriminatory assumptions that still draw parallels between marijuana and harder drugs. Mealy went as far as making a gravely spurious connection between marijuana and opioids: up to 65,000 people’s deaths have been connected to opioids in 2016. None has been to marijuana, whether medical or recreational.

“I’m a truly believer in it—I know people with Parkinson’s and people with terrible pain who would benefit from it but I wouldn’t want Flagler Beach to be the medical marijuana center of northeast Florida,”  Mealy said.

She explained: “The way the state set it up, what finally convinced me to support what the [planning] board approved and what we had recommended to begin with, if the county and Palm Coast and Bunnell and everybody else in Flagler County banned the dispensaries, let’s say the treatment centers X is, I don’t know, in Palatka, and they’re allowed to have 25 dispensaries, all 25 of them could end up in Flagler Beach if everybody else all around us banned them. So while I would not be opposed to having one in Flagler Beach, having 25 would be a little bit of overkill. So until the state realizes what they’ve done, if they ever do, I think this is the best way to go.” Mealy said the state wrote the law in a way that set up local governments to fail, leaving them no choice.

It’s not clear how a local government would “fail” if it were to attract numerous new businesses in the form of medical pot dispensaries—or how the market itself would not control the number of dispensaries by the age-old rule of supply and demand. In Gainesville, for example, the city never imposed a moratorium on dispensaries even before the Legislature offered up its special session regulations. One dispensary opened there. None other.

Legislators were under fire from the likes of attorney John Morgan, who’s led the campaign for medical marijuana, because they were placing too many restrictions on the dispensing of pot after voters approved the constitutional amendment. The breakthrough in the last special session was enabled once legislators agreed not to place undue limits on dispensaries. Misinformation and mischaracterizations about the amendment—and about marijuana—continue to shadow the debate and, now, policy.

The proposed Flagler Beach ordinance states, for example, that the city’s preference would have been to locate dispensaries exclusively in industrial zones—in other words, to treat dispensaries like strip joints. But strip joints draw their constitutional protection only by inference from the First Amendment’s right to free expression, including lewd or distasteful expression. Medical pot dispensaries draw their protection from an explicit constitutional protection that just as explicitly links medical pot to the “health, safety, and welfare” of Floridians—the same “health, safety and welfare” Flagler Beach claims to be protecting by banning the dispensaries.

The words are in the city ordinance’s preamble: “The City Commission of the City of Flagler Beach finds it to be in the best interest of the health, safety, and welfare of the residents, businesses, and visitors of the City of Flagler Beach to prohibit medical marijuana treatment centers within the jurisdictional boundaries of the City at this time.”

Click On:

The ordinance offers no evidence to support the claim. Nor did commissioners at their June meeting, nor did their attorney, nor did Mealy in the interview today. Even though Mealy supports medical marijuana, she said she was “afraid it’s going to grow into something more as it did in Colorado and Oregon, which I’m not in favor of. Again the state has created an untenable situation for us.” Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational marijuana, as have Alaska, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon. Many more states have decriminalized it, and 29 states have legalized at least medical marijuana. (See details here.)

Flagler Beach City Manager Larry Newsom put a little distance between himself and the commission’s decision, saying this was the commission’s issue, not his recommendation: he was entirely silent when Smith, the city attorney, presented his proposed ban in June, and hasn’t spoken publicly about the proposal since. In an interview this morning he said the commission was trying to position itself safely in relation to its zoning laws.

“I don’t think long term the city intends to go against the will of the people, but I won’t speak for the commission. I put it on the agenda, but I’m not the one who’s the driving force for this,” Newsom said. He recognized the medical pot industry’s economic value. “Potentially it could actually be a pretty decent tax base like tobacco and alcohol. I think it’s too early in the game.”

He added: “There’s a lot of misconceptions that these facilities—and I’m speculating—that these facilities are going to attract customers that may not be desirable. I don’t know. Everything I’ve seen on TV, they’re very clean facilities, they function like pharmacies, but they’re still some unknowns.”

Flagler Beach would also be acting on sheer speculation when it comes to other local governments’ motives. While Bunnell has generally taken a strict, no-pot approach whenever it could, the Palm Coast City Council has been more open to exploring the potential business benefits of medical pot. Palm Coast Council member Nick Klufas had been opposed to a moratorium in the city until his colleagues’ unanimity convinced him to join them, but on the premise that the city’s moratorium was only intended to give the administration time to adapt to the new legal landscape—not on the assumption that medical pot dispensaries would be banned in the city.

A few weeks ago the Palm Coast council again discussed the issue, and again reflected a generally open approach to medical pot, with the exception of Steven Nobile, the council member least favoring medical pot. But even Nobile did not speak in outright opposition to medical pot. The city is expected to take up options at a workshop later this month.

“I’m more along the thought that this is what voters asked for and we need to ensure that we’re allowing patients who need access to med marijuana to have access to that,” Klufas said in an interview today. He called Flagler Beach’s approach “disconcerting.”

Mealy was asked whether, if Palm Coast were to allow dispensaries, she would change her mind about opening up the city, as the fear of it becoming pot central would have evaporated. “That would allay my fears somewhat,” Mealy said, “but I’m really looking to the state to say, this was not the way this should have gone. I guess I’m waiting for John Morgan to step up.”

The expectation of Morgan’s actions is perplexing, given Morgan’s favoring of more, not less, permissive approaches to pot. (Morgan is expected to run for governor in 2018.)

The Flagler Beach City Commission is not necessarily of one mind on medical pot. Rick Belhumeur was initially unsure how to take the ordinance, but on reflection, he said: “Maybe people are thinking they’re afraid people are going to swarm Flagler Beach to buy their pot, but that’s not what it is. If it was smokable stuff then maybe that would be different but I don’t totally understand the reasoning behind it.”

He then drew on personal knowledge to defend dispensaries: “Somebody would have to give me a really, really good reason not to, but I don’t think I’d be against it,” he said, referring to allowing dispensaries. He then spoke of a Vietnam veteran he knows in town and the veteran’s use of marijuana. “That’s how he gets through everyday,” Belhumeur said. “Of course he burns his. But I just leave him alone. He was  a radio man in Vietnam, I just can’t envision what he’s been through. They were the Number One targets, take the radio man out, so that was kind of before all this PTSD stuff. People didn’t come back from Vietnam with that as an excuse, although they went through the same scenario of not worse. I can’t imagine walking through a jungle and being scared with every step you take. But he’s got medical issues related to Agent Orange and his leg has kind of crippled up, so he really has pain issues. Something like that would be good for him, he wouldn’t have to break the law and go buy his burnable pot.”

Eric Cooley, owner of the Flagler Beach 7-Eleven, a near-permanent presence at city government meetings and civic and volunteer initiatives, many of them of his own making, spoke to the planning board of his opposition to the proposed ordinance, noting some of the tobacco and alcohol products on sale at his store can be more harmful than medical pot.

Asked about the proposal today, he said he was compelled to address the matter from a moral perspective. “First,” he said, “there is no logical reason to ban a medicine that has been approved by both doctors and voters and is tightly regulated by the government. There simply is no risk involved to justify this ordinance. The state gave local municipalities the ability to regulate these in the same manner as a pharmacy, which makes sense. This industry is designed to bring cures to folks with debilitating medical conditions. To make these individuals travel in order to get the cures they need is counter-productive and that would leave many of the people needing this under undue hardships. In addition Flagler Beach voted for this item so it is imperative our elected officials remember it is their job to adhere to the will of the people. This topic is not about what five people sitting up front want. This topic has already been debated and voted on. Marching orders where put in place when the November election closed.”

Flagler Beach’s Proposed Medical Marijuana Prohibition Ordinance (2017)

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165 Responses for “Countering 70% of Its Own Voters, Flagler Beach Prepares to Ban Medical Pot Dispensaries Outright”

  1. Knightwatch says:

    So I’m thinking how their commission can do this. Why do this? Why deny the ill, the infirm a possible relief? What are they thinking?

    Don’t even think it, Palm Coast.

  2. Lou Reis says:

    Where the hell these people come from.. Have they just crawled out from under a rock or been in the Sun for too long..

  3. Let’s vote them all out of office!!

  4. There are many people here who would benefit from the dispensary but I guess because they have such great health care Ins thanks to being in office they rather continue to deal with the heroin and pill problems this country has

  5. Vote them out, hell in fact if 70% of the voters were for dispensary than no vote is necessary they can be removed for abuse of power or something, I don’t know the exact terms atw but I’ll be back in a bit.

  6. It’s all the old people. #stayhigh

  7. Have a referendum let the people that count make that decision ………Flagler Beach needs a cleansing from the top down

    • Why don’t people see that. Why is it every election time why is it everyone thinks these people are saints and Noone runs against them. People wake up its time for a change when 70% says yes and they say no somethings wrong. Vote them out.

  8. Steve Wood says:

    This is a joke, they are sticking there noses where it does not belong. There is money you be made by the cities in the taxes they would receive so why are they going to give it to another city or county. Stupid is as stupid does.

  9. We voted YES! Why aren’t you listening to your constituents?

    • Danny Mac says:

      If they cared what the people wanted they would listen to the will of democracy. Telling people what’s best for them against public will is literally facism

  10. snapperhead says:

    So the town with a bar serving alcohol within a stones throw from any point in town is worried a medical marijuana dispensary might draw undesirables? That’s precious.

  11. I wonder how many of them are on prescription pills?

  12. Wow….. so many people In FB are in ” need” of medical marijuana?
    Neighboring county is just fine.
    (They have more resources to combat the increase in crime & under the influence issues!)

    • Really?? Do some research. Crime has actually went down in Colorado. Pot is not heroin, meth or cocaine. Alcohol is a far worse drug but yet its legal.

    • You really need to do some research. Pot helps, but the alcohol you’re drinking and the prescription meds you’re taking do nothing but damage. It’s okay though because they’re legal, right?

    • Eight states and Washington, D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana for adults.

      Russ Rader, spokesman, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, adds that alcohol impairment remains of the biggest road concerns.

      “While we have proven countermeasures, proven strategies for reducing alcohol impaired driving, there are a lot of unanswered questions about marijuana and driving,” Rader said.

    • Does Marijuana Impair Drivers?

      Researchers have approached the issue head on, conducting a study in Washington State using traffic data from before and after legalization.

      The Washington Traffic Safety Commission found that the incidence of deadly car accidents with marijuana as a factor has increased significantly post-legalization: the number of drivers involved in deadly crashes who tested positive for marijuana in Washington increased by 48% from 2013 to 2014. “We have seen marijuana involvement in fatal crashes remain steady over the years, and then it just spiked in 2014,” said WTSC Data and Research Director Dr. Staci Hoff of the results.

      While the drivers may have tested positive for THC (the active chemical in marijuana), the extent of the drug’s effect on drivers remains to be seen. Some experts, Hoff included, maintain that weed is inarguably to blame for the accidents. Hoff concluded that “most of [the drivers] were high,” citing the fact that 85% of the drivers had active THC in their bloodstreams, rather than inactive THC metabolites, according to Reason Magazine.

  13. You crusty old goats need to get with the program. Your beliefs are not more important than medical proof.

  14. When are these people elected by the citizens going to recognize that they work for the citizens who elected them. If the people voted to pass a law then who the hell are they to take it upon themselves to do otherwise. How dare they!

  15. Why when a bar wants to sell alcohol they are quick to give them a business permit and they say it’s a good taxable income for the city why won’t these places be the same. 70% says yes and these 5 say no see a problem thrre. Time for a change wake up Flagler beach.

  16. Unreal. These Clowns need to wake up and get with the times. It’s coming whether they want it or not. If Florida follows the same path as other States, legalization for recreational use won’t be far behind.

  17. Fascism at its best. Nothing to do with pot, just elected officials that have no respect for democracy. Geeeez Flagler, get rid of these arrogant sob’s.

  18. stemwinder says:

    Vote them out.

  19. No medical marijuana, than there should be no liquor/beer and all pharmacies should be shut down!!! Marjuania should be legalized period!! Have you ever seen anyone overdosing on marjuania- have you ever seen a driving while drunk issue with marjuania! Nope, sure haven’t!! So again, let’s ban all alcohol and shut down the pharmacies….

  20. This decision can be fought! Time to contact Flagler Beach City Attorney…

  21. Adam Morley for Florida House 24 – “legalize it”.

  22. This is absolutely ridiculous.

  23. So now the people who could really benefit from it are not going to be able to get it or use it? This is ridiculous

  24. Go figure! These politicians are all about themselves!! Need to vote their ass out!!!

  25. Yellowstone says:

    Well, that seems consistent with Flagler Beach thought process. Let’s have another expensive, protracted legal case.

    Someone call Morgan and Morgan. They need this win to add to their portfolio.

    Ka-ching, ka-ching! $$$$$. There go upward my property taxes!

  26. steve says:

    bet any money if a family member or anybody close to them needed medical marijuana they’d change their mind. vote them old heads out of office. Flagler beach is already full of scummy people anyways and young wanna be thugs, pot isn’t any worse then that

  27. I guess Flagler Beach doesn’t need the tax money :D

  28. My parents are seniors and they voted yes

  29. You Have got to be kidding me it is nuts so many would benefit !!

  30. Ban cvs, walgreens and other pharmacies too then.

  31. Just one more thing flagler county citizens will have to travel out of county and give revenue to volusia county.

  32. But it’s okay to have methadone clinics… this makes no fucking sense….

  33. These old timers need to be educated on the benefits.

  34. Smoking themselves right out of office.

  35. guess a town that depends on alcohol sales might be afraid that people won’t use booze to ease their pain.

  36. Rachelle says:

    Wouldn’t the revenue from the taxes be a great way to fix our dunes? I just don’t understand why they are choosing to do away with dispensaries and give up the huge amount of money that would be spent in our town. It’s not going to eliminate people smoking pot legally or illegally for that matter. I’ve been to states where it’s legal and honestly, the dispensaries are run with class and very professional. I’m not a pot smoker. However, I do see the benefits of using medical marijuana instead of addictive pain medications. Alcohol is everywhere in Flagler Beach! Accept it and reap the rewards! Rebuild the dunes!

  37. Guess we need to call John Morgan and take this to the Supreme Court.

  38. If it’s smoked, it’s not medical. It’s recreational.

    • Susan, there has been some research that shows that the active compound enters the system much faster when smoked. Honestly, if it helps alleviate someone’s pain faster I don’t care if its in suppository form. We are talking helping people.

    • I moved to Oregon. My wife has a chronic illness. She has tried all forms of marijuana to help with her system. The only way it actually helps is when smoked. Not sure where you got your info from but that is not how this works…

    • Danny Mac says:

      Wow I can’t believe there are people out there who will actively spit in the face of right and wrong because they can

    • Plants are right. Government said it was wrong because they didn’t make money from it. When government taxes recreational sales, it’s suddenly okay. Hmmm

  39. Doug Brown says:

    Absolutely! Do we want a beautiful sea shore town to become a depot for pot smokers. NOT! You bring that crap to Flagler Beach and it’s all over

    • Says the person who probably has a beer in his hand.
      Guess what, people are already smoking pot, and you probably don’t even know about it.

    • Doug Brown says:

      John Rooney That’s right I do enjoy a nice glass of wine in the evening. It takes roughly 20 to 30 minutes for that glass of wine to leave my system. The pot will stay in your system for months.

    • Educate yourself. People won’t be walking down the street smoking a joint. Just like they can’t walk down the street drinking alcohol.
      People’s stupidity on this subject amazes me.

    • Kelli Lynn says:

      So because alcohol leaves your system faster it makes it better than pot. That makes tons of sense!

    • Lmao you have no idea what your talking about. It depends how much is used. For an average person who never smoked before one joint would be out in less then a day…

    • The fact that you are not aware that people are smoking is funny. I am in pain every day, I have tried everything else and it doesn’t work. I have not tried marijuana because I want safe marijuana not street grade. It was voted and passed, the council needs to listen to the tax payers

    • Grow you own Tami Padilla that’s what I do no chemicals

    • Marijuana users are not high ‘for months’. So I am unsure as to why you’re comparing alcohol metabolism rates to marijuana; I don’t see how that is relevant.
      Depending on the amount consumed, the length of time a person is drunk or high are relatively the same.

  40. We can either legalize recreational pot now and capitalize on the income for the state or be the last state to legalize 30 years from now and miss out on all the opportunities. legalization is going to happen either way, the question is are we going to get in front of this now.

  41. Because we don’t need more jobs in Flagler, let’s shut down the fastest growing industry in the country.

  42. John dolan says:

    So sad to see such totally uniformed pea brains with nothing to do and all day to try to interfear with our right to the pursuit of happiness. Hope you get whats coming.

  43. Eizee says:

    False assumptions and ignorance are certainly leading the decision along with fear mongering. I’m pretty sure they would be singing a very different tune if these backwards decision-makers or their families were suffering from one of the many diseases that cause horrific pain which medically-prescribed marijuana alleviates.

    Shame on them, next they’ll be watching the old 1950’s scare flicks about marijuana. Yet they have no problem getting wasted on JD and taking their prescription drugs.

  44. Congratulations, they can go buy it in Palm Coast, is not that far, and smoke it in the privacy of their homes,no pot on our beautiful beach!

  45. Aside from the benefit to the citizens that it could help. Why not take into consideration the amount of revenue it will bring to palm coast. Maybe you could use that money to help the police force, instead of increasing taxes of those same citizens that voted for this. It only goes to prove we are just cogs in a machine used to line pockets of politicians.

  46. They must be smoking crystal meth. They are the driving force.

    • Doug Brown says:

      That will be next. Might as make that legal as well. Everyone should just show up high for work. I’m sure Sea Ray Boats wants a bunch of pot heads building their boats.

    • Id rather have no one high on the job. But that’s not we are talking about. We are talking ahout banning it all together. But good job trying to divert it to people going to work high.

    • I think all these people that voted for this to happen probably are the same that voted on how the reconstruction of a1a should happen. Flagler beach should rethink on how they think about resolving issues.

  47. Born and Raised Here says:

    Time for John Morgan to step in.

  48. Brian says:

    @ steve – “Flagler Beach is already full of scummy people and young wanna-be thugs.” I’m pretty sure you meant Palm Coast – just check the news on here any given day. i.e. Phillip Haire – he is the poster child for what goes on in Palm Coast, which I avoid at all costs.

  49. REEFER MADNESS!!!! They are all running scared from propoganda videos made in the 50s!!!

  50. mark101 says:

    “”we dealt with it with tattoo parlors” Yep and one opened up late last year,

    So they might as well stop all alcohol sells as it actually does kill when overly consumed …. Ah DUI.

    I see a huge law suit against the county, just wait. John Morgan please come forward. You have a job to do.

  51. Get over it people. I hope each person who wants to ban it finds themselves needing it one day. You are preventing people who need it get it, what difference does it make. Mind your own business and it won’t affect any of those who oppose it. Ignorance

  52. Voters voted! It passed according to the constitution of the United States they Are Not allowed to do this! We the people vote! Government doesn’t tell us how to live! This is a lawsuit!

  53. Gary says:

    Kudos to Eric Cooley for his articulate and spot on commentary to these dinosaurs. I can see where this is going…they ban the dispensaries, it is ruled unconstitutional, then the city gets sued and has to spend taxpayer money to defend it. Nothing will change until the old guard is voted out. I don’t personally smoke, but the law has been passed….get over it and get on with it.

  54. Jan Reeger says: Oh good grief! Get educated.
    Apparently many people would be stunned if they knew how many folks smoked pot including legislators, business people, neighbors and friends etc. Polls say 1 in 8. I think it is probably more.
    The state did not create an untenable situation. The people spoke and the Commissioners should be listening. We should just totally legalize it and be done.

  55. So they can have Pill Farms but not something Natural. Absolutely ridiculous Palm Coast. You support the use of benzos and opioids which will royally screw you up and take the most soberest person and turn that person into a pill head. Yet people can’t get relief from a plant ‍♀️
    How stupid

  56. Making money on bogus rehabs

  57. They are just banning dispensaries from operating in our little sweet quiet coastal town of Flagler Beach. Go somewhere else and get your weed!

    • It would help Flagler. But guess to many people would prefer the pill junkies

    • Lori Young says:

      Washington State has pulled in $220 MILLION in tax revenue. Why are you fighting this? Colorado- $189Million. This could see quite a bit of tax dollars into Flagler Beach. Money that can be used to properly repair A1A and our dunes to protect our beaches. Flagler Beach isn’t so sweet. It has its share of crime just like every other city and town all over the country.

  58. Why did we vote to get it? I thought when a vote won it was done if some of these people had family that needed it they would see so stupid no sence in voting for something i guess

  59. Dave says:

    Vote them out, congratulations Flagler county you will have a thriving underground marijuana economy, and the county has no interest in providing safe access to its citizens, forcing people to buy from illegal dealers..God job!!

  60. Cletus says:

    Good….Keep them there pot head hippies out of my little seaside town. Gosh dang hippie freaks need to go over to that dang vern Palm Coast city and get their evil drugs. Now somebody drive me down to Poor Walts, I’m thirsty.

  61. Why do they even have us vote if they don’t do anything about it anyways? #joke

  62. HEY FOLKS!!! 70% VOTED FOR IT!!!

  63. Gene Allen says:

    Guess some other city will get the tax money

  64. Vote out your city “leaders” next time and find leaders who will follow the will of voters.

  65. Well i could sound alittle more educated for you if you would like. But i hope you are not holding st. Augustine people liable for the ignorance of flagler beach residents denying the people that should have the right to use what they need to comfort their chronic or severe medical issue. But you are right its the people from st. Augustine being dumb. Rob gardner why dont you state where you are originally from. Who knows they might be smarter than people from flagler beach and st. Augustine.

  66. Glad to hear it. i totally support the city in this.

  67. It’s amazing how people will mock what they fear and don’t understand. More lives lost & destroyed to pain killers.
    Why don’t you go trash Big Pharma? #geteducated #hypocrites

    • No doubt Wyndi. These people think the heroin epidemic is from pot when in reality it’s a direct effect of every Doctor that over prescribes opioids.

    • Most Herion is obtained illegally from the streets, which is where my grandson got it.Through family intervention and God’s grace he has been clean for two years.. Some portion is from over prescribing but much more is off the street.. Most doctors are very strict and there are very strict guidelines when it comes to opioids. On the legal side I have a son who has suffered from terrible terrible back pain and he takes opioids every day. He has to in order to function but he is under strict doctors care. Our hope and prayer is that he will be able to get off them point but he can’t now.

  68. How about you tell alittle kid with Parkinson’s disease that he can’t use marijana to stop his shacking or a cancer patient that is to nauseous to eat that they cant use to have an appetite

  69. Don’t they have bigger problems to worry about? Like keeping A1A from falling into the sea.

  70. rst says:

    It will be their loss; people will go elsewhere to purchase it legally and, with a prescription, Flagler Beach Police will be helpless in enforcing usage. Sometimes I wonder about those in elected positions and what drives them to make these types of decisions that are questionable, at best, and probably will be overthrown in court. Please can someone explain their motives?

  71. I have lived in Flagler county my entire life and pot has been here the whole time! lol. I have never seen anyone walking on Flagler beach with a joint. As for all of you calling Flagler beach “beautiful” I have been metal detecting that beach for years and have found buried knives,piles of beer cans, crack pipes, heroin needles and more beer bottle tops than you can count. If you love it so much why is it so trashy? Just asking.

    • It’s those “nasty” tourists. ;)

    • However, sadly, this issue is small minded ignorance. Medical MJ is rarely smoked, has nothing to do with getting high (most users are trying to avoid that aspect), and saves lives – countless lives. I would bet anyone who is against MM, knows, cares for, loves, someone who’s quality of life and perhaps their life PERIOD could be saved if they took the time to EDUCATE themselves. Small minded small towns…. (and not for nothing – unless PC does the same, they are cutting off their noses to spite their faces).

      Carry on…

    • Maryellen McDonough Lent I agree. Maybe they should take part of the taxes gained from medical marijuana and use it to combat the meth problem growing in Flagler county.

    • Ralph – and heroin.. YES! wouldn’t that be a progressive and innovative idea! Oh wait – we are talking about Flagler County here… holding your breath for INTELLIGENT COMMON SENSE, could cause more deaths than the crisis itself. So sad…

  72. Dee Louden says:

    We voted and it should stand kick them out of office.

  73. The only real way to fight this is to vote these people out of office and vote new voices that follow what the people want.

  74. This is an embarrassment and shows how uneducated our city officials really are.

  75. So you are telling me that it’s better for me to use fentanyl patches rather than a non addictive all natural way of dealing with the side effects of cancer and chemo?

  76. Flagler sucks…good thing I’m moving. I knew the new regs came out I just haven’t had time to study.

  77. Wow what are they thinking, going against the voters! They could just limit the number of shops. Plus it is supply and demand there won’t be enough biz for 25 shops. SMH

  78. Mm patient says:

    Why would you not want to allow people easy access to a safer alternative then pain pills?i guess flagler just wants to keep that “junkie heaven “vibe going that this place seems to be proud of.almost all the crime in Flagler county comes from these people who where possibly good people till they got to the pill mill”Flagler county ” im supposed to take highly addictive narcotics for my spinal injuries chronic muscle spasms 17 herniated disks and chronic pain. The medical marijuana actually helps.where if i just wanted to be “high” i would take the dangerous addictive prescribed narcotics. I choose to use medical marijuana alternatively watch always me to still function as a human in not just be “high” all day.this county is truly junkie paradise. And yes it is said are police are watching people sell pills and other dangerous drugs all the time with out doing basically anything to stop it cause there to busy chasing down the 65 year old man with a oxygen tank cause he smoked a joint.these people are the roots to the evil that has consumed this county. Lets face it.its built on pain pills….

  79. Liam says:

    Making laws before understanding the laws you’re trying to undermine is kind of an obviously dumb move. Furthermore, it makes the city look like it’s run by a bunch of uneducated morons, which I’m guessing isn’t far from the truth at this point considering they’re proposing a ban on dispensaries providing SICK people medicine. Get your priorities together people before you really screw something up. No wonder your town is falling into the ocean.

  80. Pete Masters says:

    I would imagine that these people claim to be “conservative”, yet nothing the do actually is. Dispensaries would generate income and they would also cut down on “illegal” activities. Since I highly doubt these people are getting payouts from drug companies or private prisons, my only conclusion is that they are just plain stupid and towing the party line. They need to be replaced.

  81. Typical of how Flagler County listens to its constituents.

  82. Asa Barror says:

    These dumbasses would be all for it if they had a family member who has cancer and needs it to help them but they don’t so let’s just keep on getting everyone hooked on more pills

  83. Lost 2 comrades the past 2 years to Agent Orange lung cancer. The ONLY thing that made their final months tolerable was legal marijuana… STOP THE POLITICAL CRAP!!!

  84. Kriete Mon says:

    Time to vote them out.

  85. Bill says:

    Time for the angry grandparents running the state of Florida to retire and have some younger blood take the reigns.

  86. Bc. says:

    Well the 70% that voted them in will vote them out easy !!!!!!

  87. That’s almost the dumbest thing Flagler could do…they’ve impressed me in the past though

  88. Shows you don’t care for the sick people that need it. Put another bar in flagler beach instead, so much better

  89. Kathy says:

    Why don’t our votes count? 70’percent means the voters said yes!

  90. a tiny manatee says:

    I say let flagler beach get the fenanyl and heroin problem it deserves then.

  91. Florida Voter says:

    I have one question, so let me give some background so you know what confuses me.

    I this case, marijuana is a prescription medicine. It’s a chemical compound requiring an authorized doctor to write a prescription for a specific individual at a specific dosage level and a specific dosage method (FYI, controlling the dosage a main difficulty with smoking).

    WHY DO WE NEED “DISPENSARIES”? Why isn’t it just distributed through a pharmacy like any other prescription medicine? Opioids are far more addictive and far more hazardous, but you can get them at the corner CVS/Walgreens/Target/etc pharmacy with a prescription from your doctor (or even someone you might not think of as a doctor, like your dentist … unless laws have changed in the last 5 years … laws do change).

    TL:DR version:
    Opioids = bad, extremely addictive = local drug store with a prescription from almost any doctor
    Marijuana = mild, mildly addictive = specially licensed doctor from a specially licensed/restricted “dispensary” … WTF?

    Again: why not let it be sold at pharmacies (at the very least, in pill/oil form)?

  92. WhoKnows says:

    I am amazed at the ignorant comments posted on this story. Yes, the voters said “yes” to approve medical marijuana. The question here is whether we want a dispensary within the city limits. The City commission is not saying they are against medical marijuana. They are against that dispensaries in the city limits. If you allow one dispensary you have to allow 20. You can’t allow one or two and then say no more. Do all of you people who have moved to Flagler Beach from other states to retire want Flagler Beach to become the Marijuana Dispensary capital of the state? I think not. Medical marijuana is still just that medical marijuana. It will still be illegal to smoke marijuana without a prescription. Think it through Flagler Beach.

  93. Dave says:

    WhoKnows. I think we have made our decision clear

  94. Markingthedays says:

    Technically, no one voted for or against dispensaries in Flagler Beach. 70% of the voters voted in favor of legal medical marijuana.

    The state has given permission. No city or county is REQUIRED to provide the medical marijuana. Just like no one REQUIRES traditional pharmacies.

    These are both businesses. Let the market decide where they are needed. I personally thing the old Food Lion plaza would be a great location.

  95. Markingthedays says:

    This might sound weird coming from me, but is it possible the strength of the alcohol license holders in Flagler beach are influencing this?

  96. JasonB says:

    Who would have guessed that the one story to get the most comments would be about weed.

  97. Dave says:

    We have been kept down to long, this will be the last straw

  98. Ramone says:

    Everyone in Flagler Beach that don’t agree with this, IT’S NOT OVER! I understand why the commissioners voted against this. The legislature didn’t put cities in the best position by taking away their home rule and police powers through their preemption. Giving cities a choice to ban or hope for the best is a tough call and in my opinion it was an idiotic thing for the legislature to do. With that said, this was only passed on 1st reading. It’s not final until they have their 2nd reading on July 27th at 6pm at the Flagler Beach City Commission Chambers. Everyone that disagrees should show up to this meeting. You can also get involved by contacting the 3 commissioners that voted for the ban (Joy, Jane and Marshal) to express your dissatisfaction with their decision. I believe they think they’re doing the right thing, but I think the market will sort this out. I mean how many storefronts are vacant in flagler bch that would allow a pharmacy zoning now? I can’t imagine it’s a lot. And if they build new buildings for this use, it would be great for the tax base. So let’s fill the Chambers up on July 27th at 6PM!

  99. Anonymous says:

    While I disagree with this decision, I don’t see what the big deal is. So you will have to drive to Palm Coast or Ormond Beach to visit a dispensary, a fifteen minute drive is not that bad. Pot is so easy to get that it won’t make any difference for the people who already smoke it. Potheads typically don’t buy dirty black market weed from Mexico anymore, they get quality brand-name stuff from places where it is produced and sold legally. My point is that I don’t think this will have any effect in preventing the people who want or need cannabis from obtaining it anyway, whether legally or illegally, one decision in one county is not going to stop the domino effect that has already been set into motion.

  100. FlaglerCountyCitizen says:

    I think people think of the dispensaries as joint houses. They are, as of now, medical dispensaries. So why would Flagler Beach want them? It’s a tourist/residential town. So the people that want them might rather they be somewhere less hectic? I’m not positive Flagler Beach is ideal for this type of business, but that should be up to the residents I suppose.

  101. Mothersworry says:

    I count over 150 comments that are in favor of the dispensaries. Figure some do not vote in Flagler Beach. But enough of them do to turn an election.

    There are a couple of real smart people on the commission, I’m thinking they wanted to explore what options were available before a final vote.

    I’ll wait for the final read.

  102. Cletus says:

    Ralph…set your discriminator higher. Boom… more beer cans. Oh and I found all the gold rings so don’t bother checking the beach any more.

  103. Bruno B says:

    Exactly, and according to the article, 70% of residents approved.
    That’s okay, we in PC and Volusia will eat those profits right up
    Mmmm… Revenue

  104. Anonymous says:

    I say ban pharmacies, if people need their diabetes meds or high blood pressure pills they can go to palm coast.

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