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Hypocrites on Crack

| July 13, 2017

medical marijuana prohibition

The hypocrites, from left: Jane Mealy, Joy McGrew and Marshall Shupe. (© FlaglerLive)

Sometimes I get the feeling that in Florida our vote has about as much value as a garbanzo bean.

pierre tristam column flaglerlive We have a legislature that thinks that when voters approve a constitutional amendment to devote millions of dollars to environmental protection, it’s OK to raid that money and spend it on building sewer plants instead. We have a governor who thinks that when he doesn’t agree with an elected State Attorney’s decision on how to prosecute criminals, it’s OK to remove that elected state attorney from a bunch of cases and assign them to someone else.

And now we have the city commission in Flagler Beach telling the 70 percent of city voters who approved the medical marijuana constitutional initiative to drop dead. Too bad they won’t be able to do it with a bit of pot to ease the pain.

The city commission voted last night 3-2 to ban medical marijuana dispensaries anywhere in Flagler Beach. Jane Mealy, Joy McGrew and Marshall Shupe are the new prohibitionists. (Kim Carney and Rick Belhumeur dissented.) They voted on zero evidence and embarrassing reasoning, abetted by the legal dark matter of their attorney. Commissioners claim that if they allow dispensaries and surrounding governments don’t, Flagler Beach will become a hub of dispensaries with possibly 25 of them opening up. They don’t want to see that happen.

Never mind that Flagler Beach would be lucky to get a single dispensary if there were no ban. Never mind that the market would be the surest predictor of whether the county would get a dispensary at all: as with pharmacies, undertakers or grocery stores, supply and demand, not commissioners’ dazed presumptions, decides how many businesses survive. Never mind that Palm Coast is already on record as wanting to ride medical pot’s business opportunities, to say nothing of abiding by its humane intentions.

The new state law on medical pot gives local government two choices. Either they treat dispensaries just as they would pharmacies, which is exactly what dispensaries are. Or they ban dispensaries altogether. The ban provision is an idiotic concession to drug-war nostalgists. But it’s also a relic that flies in the face of the constitutional amendment, as even actors who play lawyers on TV could tell you. It’s going to be challenged in court. That’s a certainty. Meanwhile, it’s allowing local governments to act like nannies toward the electorate, and clueless nannies at that.

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So what are these commissioners saying exactly? That dispensaries are scummier businesses? That they are to be segregated like strip joints? That they are gateways to crime? Yes, that’s pretty much what they’re saying, even though all of those claims are demonstrably false. Commissioners are essentially smearing the palliative validity and purpose of medical pot with baseless and discredited assumptions from Reefer Madness days.

And they are doing so with revolting hypocrisy. Every one of those commissioners claimed to be all for medical marijuana, all for relieving the pain and suffering of those who need it, all for listening to the will of the people, all just before turning around and flipping off those patients and voters. Jane Mealy, who chairs the commission, went as far as comparing pot to opioids, even though opioids killed some 65,000 people last year and marijuana in any formed killed a grand total of zero, not just last year, but in any year. So goes policymaking by ignorance. Willful ignorance, as none of these commissioners is known for stupidity.

I’m tempted to say they were smoking weed when they voted. But I don’t want to insult weed. It sounded more like commissioners on crack. Lucky for them they get to vote again in two weeks before their suck-up to prohibition becomes law. Let’s hope they’ll have put aside the crack pipe by then and remembered that none of them was elected with nearly the kind of margin medical marijuana got. Thursday evening, they proved why.

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here or follow him @PierreTristam. A version of this piece aired on WNZF.

55 Responses for “Hypocrites on Crack”

  1. typical says:

    men and women that went to high school in the fifties when marijuana was called the evil weed but priests were molesting boys back in the day on a daily basis oopps they still do that ahh the good ole days

  2. Rick Belhumeur says:

    All but two Pierre…. please don’t group us with those that voted for this prohibition. Is was a first reading and it takes two readings to codify. It’s not carved in stone just yet.

  3. Wishful thinking says:

    Hmm How many DUIs in Flagler Beach average per year? How many got drunk at the at the numerous businesses who have liquor licenses? Not just wine and beer? I am shocked at the totally uneducated votes as well as disrespect for our Democratic form of government

  4. A vote is a vote should not be able to change it if so lets change the votes for trump and get somone else in there

  5. Great decision Jane, Joy and Shupe. I;m not oppose to anyone smoking it and apparently those who do, are not having trouble obtaining it. I m just glad it wont be sold here, PC is only across the bridge and they will be able to get it there!!

    • It’s what the people want not what the government wants . You forgot Government for the people by the people . Government is so corrupt . It’s ok in someone else’s backyard but not my backyard Hypocrites all of them

    • Majority voted the commissioners are instead siding with the whiners

    • If you think there’s not weed being sold illegally all over Flagler Beach then you’re crazy! Wouldn’t you prefer it in a dispensary where it can be controlled and the city profit as well??? Think!!

    • OH, please, you probe my point, those who are smoking, are having no trouble getting it, we dont it sold here here. Period. Get it wherever you are getting now. and by the way, I am NOT oppose to any one using pot. FB residents don’t want a dispensary here. open one in PC!

  6. Al Bohr says:

    Vote their asses out!

  7. Rick Sanchez says:

    Flager beach is a tourist hub driven by bars and alcohol sales. This commission needs to pull their heads out of their asses, do some research, get with the times and do some good for people in need. I guess they are fine with the opioid crisis that is deatroying this country. I say vote them out.

  8. Jane Mealy needs to get a life. She is spineless and cowers in the face of confrontation. A disgrace to her position.

  9. Keith Waddle says:

    That’s 1 of the 2000 reasons i moved away from Flagler County old Fuc**

  10. Steven Wood says:

    This is the first reading I wish I could be in town as I would be at that next meeting and not be afraid to speak my mind. Remember 600 people signed a petition and the 4 the commission disregarded that also. The people of Flagler need to stand up to this it was our vote they shoved back in our faces. We need to make sure we get out and vote these 4 out get them out of town business. Rick Belhumeur I am behind you.

  11. These commissioners work for the people and the people voted 71% for medical pot . Its not what they want it’s what the people want and it’s seem they forgot they work for the people . Who cares what they want . it’s what the people want. . Typical corrupt government .Do as I say not as I do . F–k these ass hats . All three of these asshats are disgrace to there position they should resign

  12. Dave says:

    Flagler County Medical Patients Deserve Safe Access to Medicine!!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Live with it

  14. Sherry says:

    Excellent article and reasoning, Pierre! Talk about “prejudice”! Our city commissioners should be ashamed! “Medical” aid should not be automatically associated with the under belly of society. There will only be “multiple” dispensaries if they are approved by you.

    Playing “petty political games” should be beneath you. . . apparently that is NOT the case! How very disappointing!

  15. Travis Jones says:

    Absolutely ridiculous. We need to vote these people out. We as a state voted with 70% of the vote that people should be allowed to smoke medical marijuana, regulated by state laws. And this happens?? Why do we keep going backwards people!!?? Do you not see what we could do for our community with the taxes from this alone?? Get these people out of there!! We need new people on the Flagler Beach Commission!!! Absolutely ridiculous.

  16. Facts says:

    Does it really matter what political party your a member of? All of these politicians are corrupt. The people have spoken. Now give them what they want. Your opinions do not matter.

  17. Steven Wood says:

    The state of Nevada just legalized Marijuana and the governor had to declare a state of emergency bec a use the 47 dispenceries in the whole state were running out of pot. How much money is the state making on that A LOT A WHOLE HELL OF ALOT. Check out the amount of money the city could make on taxes. There is something more in there agenda.

  18. Why are some of these people from Palm Coast trying to tell our commissioners and the Flagler Beach people what do to?, why don[t you vote in Palm Coast for dispensaries if you want them?, you cant vote our commissioners out, we are a different city., tell YOUR commissioners what to do, not ours. and vote for dispensaries in Palm Coast, not in Flagler Beach.

  19. Can these elected officials be impeached? Any Lawyers out there to answer that question?

  20. Robin says:

    The willfull ignorance of those 3 commissioners is astounding and inexcusable. I hope they rethink their ridiculous votes and show some intelligence during the second vote. Thank you, Pierre, for your article, I totally agree with you.

  21. Flatsflyer says:

    Follow the money, same old Politics that has put Flatter Beach on the map!

  22. Johnny says:

    Everyone call and/or email to let them know your displeasure with their vote. They will change it if enough people complain!

  23. Disgustedin PC says:

    I wonder how many of these decision makers self medicate with glass of wine or a whiskey on the rocks, when they get home. Narrow minded politicans make the world stand still!

  24. Brian says:

    Thanks Pierre. I live in Flagler Beach, and I love my town, but these goofball hillbillies in charge of things have always been an embarrassment. Policy-making by ignorance – damn skippy!

  25. Everyone needs to remember that these members can be voted out! If they’re voted in by the people and they no longer work for the people, the people need to rise up and take a stand your voice be heard, show up to the meetings, VOTE for NEW people.

  26. Get rid of them all. They are just obsessed with getting reelected and spending every million they can get on the pier.

  27. fredrick says:

    Very good article Pierre. I am glad that you have raised this and let the community know what is going on. I hope the second reading of this will be done in front of a full house. It also would be great if our elected officials listened to the how the people voted. And it would be nice if people in government (including judges and district attorneys) followed the laws that are on the books such as the death penalty. If they are not willing to follow and enforce the law, or do as the people voted, they should be run out of office or removed and reassigned. Judges and district attorneys are not there to play politics, they are to enforce the laws in place whether they agree with them or not.

  28. You should THANK THEM if only you could see what it has done to areas of Colorado, I promise you would roll out red carpet and praise them!

  29. Mark Golomb says:

    First, gov Scott didn’t go far enough with Ayala. She flat out refused to do her her job. That’s not fair to the families of all the victims out there.

    Second, as a resident of flagler beach, there is a real opportunity to generate more money that will stay in the city. Allow dispensaries, the best will survive, the worst will fold. Create legislation so they have to keep a low profile(no neon signs, etc.). Who on the commission doesn’t like money?

  30. Now that I’m a registered Florida voter, I’ll keep these names in mind when I go to the polls. Jane Mealy, Joy McGrew and Marshall Shupe don’t seem to care about the “will of the people “.

  31. Cindy Morgan says:

    Ditto!!! Vote them OUT!!!!!

  32. John Kearney says:

    Look at all these crybabies…sad…

  33. Steven Wood says:

    The restaurants and bars come and go in this town and so will these places. FB has a pretty tough code on how places are kept up. That’s not the problem the problem is they are taking it upon themselves to change our vote that was made in November.

  34. Denise says:

    Shame on them but its ok for people taking pills its the pills thats killing everyone making people steal from friends family stores to get there next high. People who smoke dont do those things it just helps with pain ptsd anxiety panic attacks. You people need to realize pot is not the problem its 1000% saferthan pills.

  35. Chris says:

    I completely agree. Its all about power. They throw money away. How about the stupid radio station for the mayor. That should have gone for lights. Or how about the codes that they pass but don’t enforce. Palm Coast is going to the dogs. They city trucks that go up and down the street 50 times a day and.
    And don’t get out of there trucks to look. But don’t let your grassget higher than an inch because then they will slap a notice on your door. Go to the city hall and ask a question. They have no idea what they are doing. But they love to waste our tax dollars.

  36. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand why you people need to drink, take pills, shoot up heroin, or smoke pot. All of you are a bunch oh losers! Walk with God and you won’t need these vices.

  37. Capt says:

    People its really simple and we have the power to do it. Next election replace these people with people that can think outside of their little narrow minded box. Vote them out.

  38. Denise says:

    What petty, uninformed tyranny leads in Flagler Beach. It’s such a shame–it’s my hometown and I miss it, but it’s one of the reasons I left–these old farts who love publicity, even when it’s less than flattering, are a serious embarrassment to the city and the county. If these dinosaurs want to ban all dispensaries, sure, they can do that–but the least they could do is proffer a less ignorant reason for doing so.

    And those of you trolling here and calling the majority “whiners”? I hope you can’t get your medicine the next time you’re sick. I don’t like hoping for harm to come to anyone, but it seems that’s what it will take to get a few of you people to get over yourselves and your saintly American privilege. Karma doesn’t care where you come from, what color you are, or how much money you have in your precious bank account. Your day is coming…

  39. Andrea Stowell says:

    I voted against it as I really don’t think we have a way of controlling the dispensing like we should. Sad that the left has to bring Trump into something so local. Bashing at every opportunity. I support the commission in banning dispensaries. It is not like Palm Coast is far away. I hope they stand their ground. Just my opinion and something I don’t care to debate.

  40. Jeannie Johnston says:

    We recently moved here (to Flagler Beach) from Atlanta and I wish I could say I’m “shocked” by politicians going against the People’s wishes but, unfortunately, it happens all the time. Those same politicians need to remember the same voters (70% was it?) will remember exactly what you think of their opinions come election time. Please don’t attempt to tell us you are “For the People” during your next campaign.

    This is the exact reason so many people no longer vote. They believe it is a waste of time and that the politicians making the decisions will do what they want regardless. I see many comments on this thread arguing for the benefits vs. risk of allowing the dispensaries however, that should not be the issue now. Those arguments should have been made before the vote. The People (again 70%) have spoken and said, “This is what we want!” Period. Why is it these three individuals seem to think they are above the voters?

    Perhaps those who voted against the people should take a couple of hours to educate themselves and read the many scientific and medical journals that have published studies of the medical benefits of cannabis. The internet is overflowing with them. One young child’s life long battle with debilitating seizures was cured using a cross-bred form of cannabis (See: These three seemed to have cast their votes based on the information they received watching “Reefer Madness” in high school. Just my 2 cents.

  41. Sherry says:

    @ Robin Jones. . . please cites your FACTS regarding the problems in Colorado. This from the CATO Institute:

    The key fact is that marijuana use rates were increasing modestly for several years before 2009, when medical marijuana became readily available in Colorado dispensaries, and continued this upward trend through legalization in 2012. Post-legalization use rates deviate from this overall trend, but only to a minor degree. The data do not show dramatic changes in use rates corresponding to either the expansion of medical marijuana or legalization. Similarly, cocaine exhibits a mild downward trend over the time period but shows no obvious change after marijuana policy changes. Alcohol use shows a pattern similar to marijuana: a gradual upward trend but no obvious evidence of a response to marijuana policy.

  42. Marilyn McAfee says:


    The opinion which assumes that other entities don’t have the capability to set up a controlled network of dispensaries appears to assume that those who deal with marijuana are too stupid to work for/create/set up a controlled network of outlets where people can take prescriptions and get medicine, exactly like they do when they go to CVS or Walgreen and get their medicine.

    I’m glad the previous poster doesn’t want to debate such an opinion, because I will never debate someone who thinks it’s perfectly fine to insult my intelligence in such a condescending way. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it’s pretty unfair to base it on what appears to be little more than prejudice against the stereotype of a “stoner”. And it’s exactly why so many people are excoriating Flagler Beach for this nonsense.

  43. Brad W says:

    I wouldn’t worry about it. In 2 years you can write the story of how the are begging for those businesses to set up shop there.

  44. We the People says:

    Get rid of these old bats. There’s an opioid problem…right? Using marijuana or oils is as effective and MUCH MUCH safer. I’m taking it to the voting booth- enough of us can boot out those elected officials that WORK FOR US. And no, they don’t have to have dispensaries on every corner with flashing lights and people swinging signs out front. In Colorado they have a waiting room much like a doctor’s office, then they take your license and call you back 5 at a time. Very professional atmosphere.

  45. Mark101 says:

    I’m sorry to say this as I’m an old fart to, but these 3 are way out of their league. Old idea’s have NO business in these times of CHANGE. Its not the 60’s any more. Time for the 3 hypocrites to get with, or get the hell out of the way.

    Also ; Regarding Colorado, some interesting facts ( no noticeable change in use or traffic issues or crimes due to weed)

  46. happening now says:

    The city does not have an election, as no one wants to be in political business, except Rick, and that we knew what he would do. So it is the same old same old.

  47. Steve Wardrip says:

    I’m moving to Flagler Beach to smoke medical marijuana whether anyone likes it or not. Period.

  48. JROCK says:

    Oh, Boo Who….so you have to drive over the Bridge to get your weed. My heart bleeds for you. I moved here from Colorado, and before that 20 years in Seattle….Recreational MJ will be legal soon so don’t get your panties in a bunch. You’ll be able to sit in you single wide trailer in Mondex and get high after you leave your job at the convenience store.

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